Dayes Nearing A Decision

Weston (FL) Cypress Bay tailback Matt Dayes was nearing the end of a stellar senior season when NC State fired head coach Tom O'Brien.

Weston (FL) Cypress Bay tailback Matthew Dayes was nearing the end of a stellar senior season when NC State fired head coach Tom O'Brien.

Dayes, who rushed for over 1,800 yards and 30 touchdowns to lead his team to the Class 8A state finals, likely was going to garner additional attention even if Tom O'Brien was still head coach. However, he says that wouldn't have changed his commitment.

"I was going to be solid to NC State no matter what," said Dayes. "Even if I had rushed for over 10,000 yards, I was going to be solid. I liked the facilities a lot, and the players... they were all cool to hang with."

But, NC State did make a coaching change, hiring Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren to replace O'Brien.

"It was tough at first because the communication wasn't there," said Dayes. "That's when I decided to decommit. But, now I talk with the coaches at NC State a lot. We talk almost every day and have a good relationship... the head coach, running backs coach, and offensive coordinator."

Dayes didn't know much about Doeren at first. What he did know was his former team would face Florida State in the Orange Bowl, so it would give Dayes a chance to see their offense.

After that game, he certainly had his reservations about NC State, but then he got to meet, and find out more, about new Wolfpack offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin in 2012.

"At first when I was watching the Northern Illinois offense against FSU I didn't really like how it was running," said Dayes. "In my head, I was saying I'm not going to NC State to play in that offense.

"But, that was before I got to talk to coach Canada. We started to talk and I got to see what he did with Montee Ball and James White, and he coach Michael Turner in college too. After talking with him and knowing that, I know he's going to run the ball so that helped out."

However, Dayes has seen his recruitment explode since he decided to explore his options. Central Florida and Vanderbilt remain in the mix, and he is also considering offers from Miami, Arkansas, and South Florida.

Just this week, Vanderbilt (Monday), NC State (Wednesday), Central Florida (Thursday), Miami (Wednesday), and Arkansas (Wednesday) were in to see Dayes.

He took his official visit to NC State in the fall and recently checked out Central Florida. The local school, Dayes was impressed, and the Knights apparently have his family on their side.

"My parents, obviously they definitely like Central Florida because it is right here," said Dayes. "But, they are going to be happy with whatever school I pick.

"I thought the visit was pretty cool. I liked it a lot. I can see myself playing in that offense."

Next up for Dayes is a trip to Vanderbilt this weekend.

"I want to see how the players like the program and how the coaches really are," he said. "I want to see the facilities and get a feel for the educational programs."

While he didn't rule out taking another visit, Dayes said a decision could come as early as next week.

"I'll probably make my decision next week," he stated. "If I'm not totally comfortable, I might take another visit, but it will probably be next week.

"I'm looking for the place I fit in at. I'm looking for the place I like the most and where I feel the most comfortable."

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