Bowling Green (Ky.) South Warren wide receiver C.J. Hayes, one of the Bluegrass State's top prospects in the Class of 2017, has had a stellar junior season on the field and has kept busy entertaining interest from colleges whenever possible.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound athlete has starred on both sides of the ball, helping South Warren to a 12-0 record and a spot in the Class 4A state playoff quaterfinals. After scoring a touchdown in a 34-7 win last weekend, Hayes headed north to Louisville for another visit with the Cardinals program.
"The visit was great," he said. "I really got a chance to talk to the coaching staff in depth. I talked to Petrino and he said they were going to do something with me."
The rising interest from Louisville continues a trend for Hayes.
Western Kentucky, which has also hosted Hayes on multiple visits, has indicated that an scholarship offer could soon be in the making. The early relationships with that U of L and WKU have built with the in-state talent has made a strong impression.
"My parents and I really love the coaching staff at Louisville because they have a lot of NFL coaching and playing experience, plus Louisville is close to home," he said. "Western has a high-powered offense and I like there coaching staff as well."
While the interest from that pair of in-state programs continues to grow, so does that from others, including multiple P5 teams. In addition to the Hilltoppers and Cardinals, Hayes is drawing interest from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Morehead State, Ole Miss and Virginia.
He'll be in Fayetteville this weekend to visit the Razorbacks, and has visits scheduled for WKU the following Friday and then at Kentucky when it hosts rival Louisville on Nov. 28.
"I think it's a great opportunity for them to meet me again in person," said Hayes. "Since I've been to their camps it shows that I'm very interested in their schools."
Hayes leads South Warren with 15 receptions for a 190 yards and a team-high five touchdown catches, while also recording three interceptions as a defensive back.