Iowa State wasted little time getting involved with Pattonville High School (Mo.) offensive tackle Marquis Hayes, giving him his first offer late last December. Since then, the Cyclones’ interest hasn’t wavered.
While Hayes has since added offers from Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, New Mexico and a number of others, Iowa State has continued to tread well with the 6-foot-6, 320-pound prospect who is regarded as one of Missouri’s best in 2017.
“I think Iowa State stands out to me, one of the top on the list,” Hayes said. “Another school is Illinois… And Mizzou. But Iowa State speaks up to me a lot. There’s just something about Iowa State. I feel comfortable with the coaching staff. I feel like it’s kind of becoming second nature to me being cool and their facilities top it off too, but really it’s the coaching staff. I feel like we have a bond or are starting to get a bond.”
Hayes, who already visited Iowa State in late February, plans to make a return visit to Ames sometime this month. He’ll camp at Nike’s The Opening this weekend in Ohio, the Rivals camp the following weekend and finishes school May 20. Between then and June he’d like to see the Cyclones again.
Several schools — including Minnesota, Purdue, New Mexico, Iowa State, Missouri and Illinois — have stopped in Maryland Heights (Mo.) this spring to watch the 45th-ranked offensive tackle (the top-ranked in Missouri). Iowa State has kept in frequent contact with three different coaches in recent months.
“I get a couple texts from Coach [Matt] Campbell here and there and I talk a lot with the offensive line coach, Coach [Tom] Manning,” Hayes said. “But D.K. McDonald is the recruiting coach, so I probably talk to him more. He came down to school and visited and he texts me at least four times a week.”
Iowa State, which has taken multiple versatile linemen in the 2017 class who could end up on the interior, sees Hayes on the edge. The Cyclones are targeting a big-framed tackle to round out the group and Hayes is target No. 1.
“They see me fitting well because I’m physical. I asked what position do they want me to play and where they think I’ll play and they said tackle, which would be a better fit for me with me being physical and my footwork,” Hayes said. “They see me as a tackle, but Mizzou said they’d start me off at guard and put me up to tackle and some schools just say they’ll start me off at tackle like Iowa State and Illinois. I probably prefer playing tackle but I wouldn’t mind guard. Anywhere they want to put me.”
Hayes isn’t yet sure when he might make a decision.
“The big decision is me fitting in with the coaches well and liking the facilities and bonding with the team and I feel like the college has to feel like home and that I’m welcome there,” Hayes said.