Coach's Take: Blake Hayes

Wade Hampton Coach Ken Haltiwanger talks about Top 2012 Prospect Blake Hayes.

Although only a junior, Blake Hayes has drawn interest from college coaches nationwide. The 5’10” 190 pound running back from Wade Hampton High School (Greenville, SC) is one of the top running back prospects in the south region. Hayes’ coach, Ken Haltiwanger, spoke glowingly of his starting back.

“He’s a big running back with some speed. He’s built pretty well. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. That’s one of the biggest things a lot of college people are liking about him. Not only can he run the ball but he can catch the ball.”

So far, Hayes is having a monster year for Wade Hampton. Says Coach Haltiwanger, “He’s our leading receiver. He has about 850 yards rushing and he’s only played 5 games.”

Maryland is actively recruiting Hayes and stays in contact with him consistently. “He gets mail from the University of Maryland. With him being a junior, there hasn’t been a whole lot of contact with the new rules and everything but he does get mail from Maryland. I haven’t been in a whole lot of contact with Maryland except when they were here in person recruiting one of my receivers, Hakeem Flowers [Maryland offer].”

Hayes hasn’t received any offers yet, but they are sure to start coming soon. Coach Haltiwanger expects Georgia Tech and South Carolina to offer Hayes as soon as they can.

Blake Hayes is sure to become a top back at the next level. According to Coach Haltiwanger, “He can carry the ball 30 times a game with no problem and is able to catch the ball out of the backfield as well. He can block and also returns kicks for us. He can be a big time asset for a lot of people.”

As with almost everybody making the transition from high school to college athletics, there are things that athletes need to improve to make the jump as seamless as possible. “He needs to increase his speed a little bit. His 40 time is not his best asset but yet you put him on the field and people can’t catch him. He’s one of those guys that when you put on the field, he runs a lot better 40 than when he’s timed. He’s gotten stronger in the last year and if he continues there he’ll be good as far as weight room stuff. For a big time program to say ‘Hey that’s our marquee back’ he needs to put up a little better 40 time.”

Hayes has kept his recruitment wide open with no favorites yet. The Terps are still in the running and seem to be a school that Hayes is still considering.

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