LB Sets Visit to UM

Bayonne, N.J. standout linebacker Jerome Hayes is widely considered one of the best players in the state of New Jersey. He was one of four players from Jersey selected to play in the US Army/Scout.com All-American game in January. Hayes has a message about that.

"That's national TV," Hayes said. "I hope to go out there and show people who the best linebacker really is."

Hayes, 6-2 and 220 pounds, has over 500 yards rushing this season and 65 total tackles on defense. He projects as a linebacker at the college level.

"My sideline to sideline speed is what makes me different," he said. "I just have a way to get to the ball better than most guys."

Hayes, a full academic qualifier who has played varsity basketball up until now, has become one of the state's most heavily recruited players. He's taken one visit and has three others scheduled.

"I just came back from visiting Florida," he said. "I had a great time -- that's a great visit. They had a tough loss but I like the players and coaches and the situation there. I'm going to Michigan State on December 10th and Miami on the 18th. Rutgers will be my fourth one but I don't have an exact date yet. I'm not sure on the fifth one yet."

The talented linebacker prospect said he became interested in UM early in the process.

"They're a great program, a historic program," he said. "They're always winning and playing at a high level. They do well with linebackers too so when they sent me an offer, it's just something I knew I wanted to check out."

Hayes has not yet singled out any of his current favorites.

"They're all about even for now," he said. "I'll know for sure after I take my visits. Right now, I'm just going with it and trying to enjoy my senior season."

Hayes, who met Antone Smith at a camp over the summer and spoke to him a couple times on the phone (although not recently), said he's looking forward to competing at the college level.

"I know that anywhere I go I'll have good competition," he said. "Some places will have more than others but that's not going to be a factor (in my decision) at all."

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