Jerome Hayes standing at 48 official offers

One of the top linebackers in the country is also a standout running back. While his immediate future of playing on Saturdays and then on Sundays has him on defense, his offense output so far will astound you.

Bayonne, N.J. is home to one of the best high school football players in the country. Jerome Hayes has been getting a ton of recruiting attention and for good reason. His team just dropped a heart-breaker in his loss, but his performance can not be overlooked in light of the loss.

"We're 1-1, we just lost a tough one to Hudson Catholic from Jersey City," Hayes said. "Three overtimes we lost 15-13. I was running the ball well, I had 156 yards rushing, but our passing game wasn't working. They're a good team, but we shouldn't have lost that game."

Hayes is up to 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds which has to just terrify opposing teams when you mix in a 4.5-4.6 second 40. Hayes is starting both ways at running back and inside linebacker. Although he isn't sure of his total stats, he knows that on defense in the last game he had 19 tackles.

Teams have taken note of his ability and almost half of all Division I football programs in the country have ponied up an offer. "48, official written offers."

Needless to say the phone has been ringing off the hook at the Hayes' residence. "I basically have four of my five visits lined up right now. I'll visit Michigan State, Rutgers, Miami and Florida. My last visit is to possibly Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Louisville, or Nebraska. I'm trying to narrow it down. It's real tough."

Hayes mentioned that distance isn't a consideration when it comes to considering Nebraska over the other, closer, schools. "I want an opportunity to play and get my education. I want to win a National Championship, maybe one or two times."

The Nebraska Defensive Coordinator, Kevin Cosgrove, has been recruiting Hayes. "That's my man. They have a leg up for that last visit. They have one of Hudson County's best players to ever play in Hudson County in Joe Dailey. So that would be nice to meet up with Joe Dailey.

The "leg up" as Hayes put it doesn't end there for Nebraska. "They also just got a commit from my friend Phillip Dillard. I believe that he plays for Jenks, Okla. I met him down there at the Florida camp. We hit it off. We got a chance to workout with Coach Miller."

Hayes hasn't been in touch with Dillard since they left camp. The reason why having Dillard already going to Nebraska presents an opportunity to work in the same linebacking corps together for four to five years. "That's not a bad situation. I know what type of player he is. I know how bad he wants to win."

There is yet another angle for Hayes and Nebraska. "I was probably one of the biggest Jammal Lord fans there was when he played high school ball here. I was in Pop Warner and I used to hurry up on Fridays and do my homework for the weekend. They wouldn't let me out unless I got my homework done. I would ride down to the stadium and watch him play."

"I think that he graduated in 1999 and I was in sixth grade. He and Tyrell Dortch used to go at it. Jammal is a role model citizen where I live at. He's the king around here. When Jammal comes around everybody knows it. I hope that one day it will be like that for me."

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