What it means: Well, you really need two offensive tackles heading into the 2017 season, and D'Marcus Hayes is going to have to be one of them. It would be logical to think that he would be the starting left tackle considering his junior college experience. Then again, JUCO players have been more miss than hit in their time at UGA over the decades.
Hayes is one of the slew of massive offensive lineman Sam Pittman and Kirby Smart added to the program this recruiting cycle. He doesn’t stand up immediately like many big men his size. If you watch his tape, and nearly all tape is highlight tape, you see that he does a good job of kick stepping and using his hands. I’d like to see some bad footage of him so we can understand what his weaknesses really are, but he certainly looks the part right now.
More than anything, Hayes gives UGA and immediate body it had to have to realistically compete for the SEC East and conference title. The Bulldogs have been missing offensive tackles for years in their pursuit of trophies. Hayes should help with that problem over the next two years.
Hayes’ commitment was one of the two most critical this season. Four days later the Bulldogs got a commitment from No. 49 overall prospect Isaiah Wilson, who could team up with Hayes to bookend the offensive line over the next two falls.
But Hayes is the most important of the two in terms of immediate impact. He will serve as a bridge to the future. Georgia’s most-specific flaw since the turn of the century has been on the offensive line. Hayes will likely play left tackle (at worst right tackle) over the next two seasons. That will give Sam Pittman the chance to develop the other eight players he’s signed, but who have yet to earn a varsity letter.
Wilson, Chris Barnes, Ben Cleveland, Soloman Kindley, Andrew Thomas, D’antne Demery, Natori Johnson and Justin Shaffer form the nucleus of the future of the offensive line at Georgia. Max Wray and Luke Griffin are also on the way.
Still, it’s Hayes who is going to have to produce right now, and there’s nothing indicating that he won’t.
Dean Legge saw him live: Never
Scout’s Take: Hayes could probably play tackle or guard at the highest levels. He will likely get a shot to play tackle at Georgia, but because of his size and run blocking skills he could get moved inside if it does not work out where he could honestly be a real star. He played left tackle in the fall in a very tough league, so he is battle tested against defenders who can rush the passer and are big and strong. He will need to find some more consistency against true edge-bending ends, but if he can get his hands on you it is over.