Spartans still in hunt for LB Jerome Hayes

Bayonne (NJ) linebacker/running back Jerome Hayes is a raw talent with a world of potential. Playing very free in his system, Hayes is able to read and react quickly to plays. He takes on blocks well, and sprints to and through the ball carrier in a crowd. In one-on-one situations, he does break down and tackles easily.

Jerome Hayes has now taken four of his five permitted visits and he's getting closer to making a final choice.

"I visited Miami this weekend," Hayes said. "I had a great time. It was me, Dajleon Farr from Houston, Jon Demps, Demitri Stewart, Pat Turner, and Avery. We all hung out and it seemed like everyone liked it. Just like me, all those guys are thinking hard about Miami."

Hayes, 6-1 1/2 and 226 pounds, was hosted by linebacker Leon Williams. "He's from up this way, Brooklyn," he said. "He's real cool. The players there are real tight, they're a close group. It seems like everyone gets along real well."

Hayes said the highlight of his trip was watching the Canes practice as they prepare for the Peach Bowl. "The practices, they were really intense," he said. "I was real impressed at the speed at which those guys play. You can tell they have top notch linebackers and they're all real competitive. That's what I want. I'm not backing away from anything. I want to compete against the best and Miami gives you a chance to do that."

The talented linebacker prospect had already made visits to Florida, Rutgers, and Michigan State. It appears those three and the Canes make up his final list. "I'm not even sure if I'll take the fifth visit," he said. "It's time to sit down with my family and start really thinking hard about my decision. The thing about Miami is they only had two groups of linebackers this year and Willie Williams was hurt. They need a lot of new guys and I think I can go in there and help out."

Hayes leaves on January 9 for the All-American game in Texas. He's not sure if he'll have a final decision by then. "I don't know exactly when it'll be," he said. "Whenever I feel ready. They're all on an even scale I'd say right now."

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