Hayes Taking Wait & See Approach

Grand Blanc (MI) RB Justice Hayes has seen his scholarship tally steadily build in recent months. As his options have increased, so too has his desire to learn more about all of his suitors. Michigan is among those that he has learned a great deal about as of late, and that has given the Maize & Blue a healthy boost in his recruitment.

Sam Webb:  Things have come a long way since you received your first few offers.  It seems like you're getting new offers all the time.  Who are your latest scholarship offers and how many are you up to at this point?

Justice Hayes:  "My latest scholarship offers are from Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Notre Dame."

Sam Webb:  How many does that take you to now?

Justice Hayes:  "That takes me to 11 now."

Sam Webb:  Notre Dame was a big one.  What was it like to get the news that you got the Notre Dame offer and are you going to make it down there any time soon?

Justice Hayes:  "It was great.  Notre Dame is up there with Michigan if not above Michigan.  It's a big time program.  They have a new coaching staff now.  I'm anxious to get down there and see what offense they run.  That's what I'm trying to figure out.  I haven't heard what offense they're running.  I know they are going to run some type of spread, but I want to know how they utilize their running back.  I'm going to get a chance to go down there on the 20th of March.  That should be a special day for me.  I've never been in South Bend and I'm going to take it all in and check out the facilities and talk to the coaches and see how they are going to be doing things.  That's the only visits that I have right now, but there will be some more soon to come."

Sam Webb:  Recently I heard something about Alabama getting on you now?

Justice Hayes:  "Not heavily on me, but to be honest I get letters from everywhere.  USC is starting to pick it up as well.  I'm going to wait and see how things go.  There are a lot more schools coming in.  It's kind of crazy."

Sam Webb:  Let's talk about offense a little bit.  In the beginning you said that you can play in any offense, but you kind of prefer a spread because of how it allows you to play.  As you've looked at more schools, is that something that you still feel strongly about?  Where does your offensive preference to stand at this point?

Justice Hayes:  "To be honest with you, I have no idea.  Like you said, earlier I said I prefer a spread offense that has changed dramatically.  Like you said a lot of these colleges that I've visited…out of all the offers I have, a majority of them run pro style offenses.  As time has gone on, I've been able to follow-up on the pro style offense.  Honestly like I said, I can play in both spread and pro style.  I'm not afraid to run up the middle and get the big guys, I'm not afraid to catch the ball, and I'm not afraid to block.  I can do pretty much anything.  I want to go to a school that has great academics because I'm going to stay in school for four years.  I want to get my degree knowing that I can get a good paying job, as well I want a chance to go pro. If that opportunity isn't there I have my job back to fall back on.  Learning these things, there have been people who came out of spread and gone pro, but the pro style offense gets you ready for that next level and I want to be able to come have an advantage if I am able to get the opportunity to go pro, I'll be able to step in and know exactly what the NFL expects.  Right now, I have no idea.  I do not know exactly what offense I want to run in.  I'm pretty sure I'll have that ready in the next couple of months."

Sam Webb:  We haven't talked to your junior day visit to Michigan; how was that?

Justice Hayes:  "Unexpectedly, it was pretty impressive.  It wasn't looking too good for me these past two to three months and me being able to talk to other coaches and knowing that they are interested in me.  Previously I did not know how things would go with me and Michigan. They did not offer me as early as I thought they would.  So I was just going to leave them off my list just completely.  They haven't had the success that Michigan has had in previous years and that was definitely a negative for me.  Talking to the coaching staff and learning what their plans were for me, it was definitely a plus.  I just hope that they get out and have a successful year and I can really feel comfortable if I were to go and commit to Michigan. I would feel comfortable knowing that they having success."

Sam Webb:  You said that they talked to you about their plan for you; who in particular did you talk to about that and what did they say?

Justice Hayes:  "I talked to Coach Jackson the most.  I was pretty much with him the whole day and we talked about how I perfectly fit their offense.  Of course I run the spread at my school and that's just an advantage to me just being able to step in and knowing what the plays is and how everything is designed.  That's an advantage for me. I'll be able to come in and work hard.  They said that they knew I would work hard because I am a hard worker.  Like I just said, I fit their offense and to tell the truth, when we were watching film in there on junior day I picked up on a lot of stuff.  There are a lot of similarities in our offense and their offense so that is definitely a key right there. So I spent time with Coach Jackson and spent a little time with Coach Rich Rod.  I seen all the other coaches.  I really felt like they are really interested in me.  The coaches showed it.  That's great to me.  Like I said, I hope they do well this year and I can open up my recruiting and feel good about it.  It is 25 minutes away.  They would be right there up on the list like everybody else."

Sam Webb:  Who made the visit with you?

Justice Hayes:  "My mom and my little brother."

Sam Webb:  You talked a lot about academics.  Did they take you guys through the academic presentation? 

Justice Hayes:  "Yeah they talked about study hall and stuff like that.  I might want to major in law and Michigan is a great law school so that definitely a plus right there.  They talked about academics a little bit and of course my mom was interested in that."

Sam Webb:  You've stated in the past that Michigan State was your childhood favorite and the Spartans have been high on your list throughout your recruitment.  Are they still number one for you?

Justice Hayes:  "I'm not going to say that I have a number one, but they definitely a great option for me.  They are one of the top, but I'm not going to say that they are number one.  There are a lot of schools that I feel are in the same position as them."

Sam Webb:  Who are the same schools that are in the same position as Michigan State are?

Justice Hayes:  "I would have to say Iowa, State of course, Notre Dame and Wisconsin."

Sam Webb:  When will you make it to Iowa or Wisconsin yet?

Justice Hayes:  "I've been to Iowa and I plan on going to Wisconsin pretty soon.  I've been to Iowa and everything was nice there.  People's perspective of Iowa of farmland, but it really not.  It is actually a nice little city and met a nice family down there.  I'd be able to stay there some of the time.  I definitely do not feel alone.  I forgot Northwestern as well.  It wasn't Wisconsin.  It was Northwestern."

Sam Webb:  You've been to Northwestern, right?

Justice Hayes:  "That's the first place I went.  I was shocked.  I did not know it was that close to Chicago."

Sam Webb:  Do you think distance from home is going to be a factor for you?

Justice Hayes:  "I'm not going to lie.  Yes it is.  I definitely want to be able to come home and I want my family to come see me play, so it definitely would."

Sam Webb:  Have you thought about when you want to make a decision. 

Justice Hayes: "Recently I said I wanted to make a decision before the season I do not think that will happen.  Like I told you earlier, I want to see how Notre Dame is…how Michigan plays this year.  That's definitely going to be a factor for me.  I feel that that is not fair taking Michigan out of my list because of how they played the last two years and I want to make my decision with how they play this year.  That's was the past.  They've got new recruits coming in.  They got Devin (Gardener) coming in.  He's one of my friends.  I want to see him start.  I feel that he should be depending on how hard he worked this offseason.  I feel like he is the best choice for Michigan at the quarterback position and I want to see him do well and I want to see Michigan have success.  To be honest with you, if Michigan hadn't done such a poor job these past two years, I'd probably already be committed to Michigan right now.  That's Michigan, you know what I'm saying?"

Sam Webb: Really? Why is that when you grew up a State fan?

Justice Hayes:  "I grew up a State fan, but like I said I grew up.  I actually understand the recruiting process and understand my knowledge of football period.  You can't go wrong with Michigan. I'm willing to go in there and compete.  I promise you I'll be a starter and I will do well.  I'm very competitive."

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