"Things are going well," Eric Hayes said. "I'm just preparing for the season. I'm trying to improve on my quickness and strength. Strength's probably the #1 thing I need to improve."
"Right now I have nine offers," he added. "Maryland, NC State, Miami, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Ohio State, and Richmond have offered me and are the main ones I'm looking at."
At this point, two ACC programs lead for the 6'3 playmaker from Virginia.
"I think Maryland and NC State are sticking out the most right now," Hayes said. "Both are in the ACC, and they both are reasonably close to home. Maryland's real close, and NC State's only three and a half hours away. Plus, both are top-notch basketball programs in the ACC."
So far he's taken unofficial visits to Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. Hayes says that NC State, Maryland, and West Virginia are recruiting him the hardest.
What did he like about Maryland?
"Everything was real nice," he said. "I haven't had a chance to see the campus yet though."
This weekend he'll be at NC State for their annual Red-White game. The Wolfpack backed off point guard J.P. Prince this fall and appear to be focused on landing Hayes, who claims an offer from them. He's excited about making his first visit down to Raleigh, North Carolina.
"I'm ready to get down to NC State," Hayes said. "I like the way they play. They shoot a lot, and I think one of my best attributes is shooting. I can shoot the three, and I like to score a lot of points. Their system allows that. I don't like to just walk it up and score fifty points a game."
Looking for a factor that could play a role? Hayes admits that he wants to play right away.
"Definitely... it's definitely going to be a factor," he said. "I want to come and play right away."
Both leaders, NC State and Maryland, feature junior point guards in Toney Bethel and John Gilchrist respectively.
Only a junior, some would suggest that Hayes take his time and make a decision later next season after playing with Boo Williams on the AAU circuit. However, he hopes to have a decision made before the end of his season... his JUNIOR season.
"I think it's going to be probably before my [junior] high school season or during my season," Hayes said. "It really depends on if any jump out real big at me. Our season starts November 15th and it would be ideal to decide by then, but anytime during the season would work too."
"There's a lot of competition," he added. "If you find the school you want to play for, there's no reason to wait."
Is there a chance he could commit to NC State this weekend?
"No, I don't think so," Hayes said. "I still want to take a couple more visits."