Sam Webb spoke to 2014 OT Jay Hayes 6-4/275 from Brooklyn NY (Poly Prep).
Sam Webb: Take me through last season. How did it go for you on the football field?
Jay Hayes: "It didn't go as planned. It's good to have a short term memory and rebuild off of that, and go back in the off-season and work as hard as you can to go in the season. I'm putting that behind us and trying to lead my team."
Sam Webb: I've seen you listed as an offensive lineman and as a defensive lineman. What do you consider yourself?
Jay Hayes: "I consider myself as an athlete. If it was my choice I would play both sides of the ball any day. Right now I'm an athlete and I'm open to any school. Whatever you want to put me as, I'm there, as long as it's going to help our team win."
Sam Webb: Do you get the feeling that schools are recruiting you more at one position than the other?
Jay Hayes: "It's kind of mixed. I have some schools that want me as a defensive end. Then I have some schools that already have defensive ends, so they want me as an offensive guard. If I get two inches taller they'll just move me up to offensive tackle. So it is kind of mixed.
Sam Webb: So tell me a little bit about yourself… your game.
Jay Hayes: "My first thing that I always focus on is my technique, so – and that's what you're going to notice. Plus I'm going to be full speed off the ball every play. I'm going to be consistent. So that's one thing you're going to notice about me. And you're going to notice that I bring energy to the game. I'm going to be out there motivated, and cheering on, and pumping up his players… even if we're down by two touchdowns. Any (knucklehead) can celebrate when you're—but who's going to be up when times are hard? Who's going to step up when time are hard?"
Sam Webb: Is there a player in college or the pros that you kind of compare yourself to?
Jay Hayes: "Defensively, Ndamukong Suh I would say. And offense, I really don't even know, but I can move as an offensive lineman."
Sam Webb: What's your height, your weight and your 40 time at this time?
Jay Hayes: "I run a 4.86, and I'm 6-4, and I weigh 273."
Sam Webb: It seems like recruiting is blowing up for you. How many offers do you have on the table right now?
Jay Hayes: "I have six. I have Michigan, I have UCLA, I have Rutgers, I have U-Conn, I have Maryland, and Oregon."
Sam Webb: Did you grow up a fan of any particular school?
Jay Hayes: "I grew up a fan of Michigan, actually."
Sam Webb: Really? So how did you get into being a Michigan fan?
Jay Hayes: "Playing video games. I would always pick Michigan, and I would win, so I was like ‘Oh, this is my team for now.' I would go to school and I'll just start (bragging) and saying ‘Oh, Michigan's the best… the best team to ever play in college' just because I was winning. I didn't even look at stats and I thought it was a good team. Then I researched them and saw how much tradition they have, which I really appreciate and respect.
Sam Webb: So when did they start recruiting you? When did they start showing interest, and what was your reaction when you found out they offered you?
Jay Hayes: "I think a week ago the defensive coordinator said ‘Yeah, I want you at Michigan; Michigan's a great place with tradition and media coverage.' That was one of my top schools anyway. I was just happy, like I went to my coach and I was like ‘Man, thank you!' It's just a honor, because that's a great school, especially for engineering."
Sam Webb: I know Coach Mallory is your recruiter. What kind of feel do you have for him thus far?
Jay Hayes: "He is a laid back guy and a comfortable guy. My main goal is to visit Michigan now and to get comfortable with the staff. The head coach is going to be there regardless, but I want to focus on getting to know the position coaches. Especially the defensive line position coach or the offensive lineman position coach, and see what type of people they are, and coaches they are. Are they going to push me? Are they going to get me to the next level? Which I do want to pursue. And is that a person that I'm going to want to wake up for the next four to five years of my life and work with?"
Sam Webb: When you sit down and get ready to make your decision, whenever that is, what are going to be the big factors in that choice?
Jay Hayes: "Tradition, a stable academic school, a great position coach, and media coverage."
Sam Webb: So is distance from home going to play a role for you at all?
Jay Hayes: "Not really, not really. Wherever I have to go, and wherever I feel comfortable with, I'll be honored. "
Sam Webb: I talk to a lot of guys, and many of them say the same thing, but when they talk to the family, their families say distance matters to them. So what does your family say about it?
Jay Hayes: "I mean, my family wants me to be closer to home, but I really don't agree with that. If I have a goal to pursue, and I feel that that's the school that's going to help me reach my goal, then I might as well do it. I might as well not want to look back and start to regret, and say ‘Man, I should have gone there… that would have probably helped me'. I want to go on my instinct. So if I really like the school, I really like it… Besides, my parents will see me. I mean, I'm going to come back to New York eventually (laughter). "
Sam Webb: Have you sat down with your coach or your family and talked about timeline for making a decision?
Jay Hayes: "I'm still thinking about it because my main goal right now is to lead my team… to be the first junior captain to lead my team to an undefeated season. So I don't know if I want to get this stuff out of the way now, or wait until my senior year. Right now my decision is to wait until senior year, but I haven't really sat down with everyone. My coach told me, ‘You have two more years to make this decision, so I suggest that we're going to wait it out and see how everything goes'."
Sam Webb: So as far as visits are concerned, have you been to any schools yet? And do you plan on making it to any schools the rest of this spring or this summer?
Jay Hayes: "Yeah, I've been to Rutgers and U-Conn. I've been to Maryland. That's it so far. I'm planning on going to Michigan probably June or something if I'm able to make it out there. "
Sam Webb: When you come out this way, are you coming to camp, or are you just coming to visit?
Jay Hayes: "I'm coming to visit. And I should be going up to Notre Dame, and then I'm supposed to be checking out Penn State. "
Sam Webb: Do you have a leader at this point in your recruitment?
Jay Hayes: "Yeah. I think it's Notre Dame, Notre Dame. "
Sam Webb: So what about a top five? What's the top five on your list right now if you could give it me in order?
Jay Hayes: "Alright, Notre Dame, Michigan…the rest are hard sometime… Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, Rutgers, and U-Conn."
Sam Webb: And what is it about Notre Dame that has them on top right now?
Jay Hayes: "That's a school of business. Also one of the fellow players that used to play on my team graduated from Notre Dame, and now he's in the NFL. I talk to him all the time. Eric Olsen, offensive lineman. Notre Dame also has a lot of history behind it."
Big 2014 OT/DE likes U-M … ND too
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