When the early Scout 300 rankings came out a couple weeks ago, Daelin Hayes found himself as the top player in the state of Michigan.
The Orchard Lake St. Mary's junior athlete was happy with that standing, but less than fulfilled with his ranking as the No. 66 overall player in the nation.
"The ranking in Michigan is cool, but as far as nationally, it's 65 spots to low," he said. "It definitely encourages me as far as making your bed and laying in it. I've been working for this moment since I was in seventh grade.
"God has worked great wonders in my life and it keeps me hungry."
Hayes already has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame among his 10 BCS offers. The Spartans were the first to offer the 6-foot-3, 225-pound athlete in January and he was back on campus in East Lansing for 7 on 7 camp earlier this summer with his teammates at OLSM.
"I worked at outside linebacker and wide receivers," he said. "Coach (Terry) Samuel, it was funny, he actually wants me to play receiver. Talking to Coach (Mike) Tressel and he just said right now it's so early in the process, they just want me to make plays."
Hayes said he was happy to show he is not a "stiff linebacker" out on the field. After all, he only started playing the position three years ago.
After the camp, Hayes talked with Tressel, the linebackers coach.
"Coach Tressel and I talked football and how they play schematically speaking, what they do as a defense and where I fit into their defense," he said. "As far as mentalities, we talked getting to the ball and finishing as hard as possible.
"A big thing Coach Tressel told me yesterday that stuck out with me is effort erases mistakes. If one guy makes a mistake, but he is making that mistake at 110 percent, it's hard to notice on film. If the whole team is going 110 percent and one guy makes a mistake, that's what makes a great defense is you clean each other's mess up.
"It was a great visit and I got to speak with the coaches. I like the family atmosphere at Michigan State."
Hayes admittedly is very comfortable around the Spartans program, but his recruitment is anything but over.
"They are around the corner from my house, how could I not be comfortable?" he said. "It was a great experience talking to those guys and having that relationship with them and I look forward to them continuing to recruit me."
He most recently picked up an offer from Notre Dame and figures to see that list continue to grow as he heads into his junior year – and tries to hurdle the 65 players in front of him.