'Cats Earn High Marks WIth Hayes

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State was the first to offer Luke Hayes, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan. Hayes played his high school ball at Scott City in western Kansas, but decided to go to JuCo route in 2012 to gain more D-1 exposure.

The move has paid off with five early D-1 offers from Kansas State, Kansas, Baylor, Kentucky, and most recently, Arizona.

"Kansas State offered me back in February," said Hayes. "Coach Dickey said he likes how well I'd fit into their offense with the stuff they try to do. I definitely like them. I went to their Spring Game in April. It's my home state's college. I'd be close to home and in a great program. I was kind of hoping to get out of Kansas, but right now I'm keeping my options open with an open mind."

Hayes graduated in 2012 from Scott Community High School. A two-year starter for the Beavers, Hayes helped his team go 11-1 as a senior playing tight end. After graduation, he only had a couple of D-2 offers so Hayes decided to join the Grizzles program in El Dorado. When he got to Butler CC that summer, Coach Troy Morrell decided Hayes should be playing tackle instead.

"Being at Butler has helped me mature," Hayes shared with KStateFans.com. "I've been able to find a position I'm more comfortable with. I think offensive tackle fits me better as a player.

"My freshman season I never started a game, but I was the extra offensive lineman in the jumbo package and received quite a bit of playing time. This year I'll be taking over the starting job at left tackle. The coaches all told me I had a good spring practice. Pass blocking has been the main thing I've improved on. After playing tight end in high school and not having to do much pass protection, I had to prove that I could be effective. I think I've done that and have continued to be more aggressive in my run blocking. I'm spending the summer working with our offensive line coach on my technique. We've put a lot of time in getting it down."

Hayes says that N.C. State and Michigan State are the two schools showing the most interest that have not yet offered. He said that he'll likely wait until fall before acting on anything definite in regards to college.

"It definitely exciting after not having any offers coming out of high school to get recognized," Hayes said. "It's always been my goal to play D-1 football. I'm not sure what I'm doing this summer besides practice. I'm thinking about taking official visits during the season. I'd like to join a tight program. I want to play somewhere that I can prove myself going against the best competition. I'd like to go to a program where I'd have a good shot at being a starter right away because I only have two more years left to play after this one."

A couple of perks for Hayes are he'll graduate from Butler in December and has a redshirt season available if need be. Hayes says he'd like to pursue a degree in Physical Education because he wants to one day get into college coaching after his playing career is over.

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