"I was surprised, because they don't usually recruit down here. It's a good deal, because now there's a lot more interest in him, because the Big Ten has offered him."
Hairston's recruiting interest is coming from Duke, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Stanford, and Wake Forest.
Outside of Wisconsin, Duke and UNC are recruiting Hairston the hardest, he says. He attended a junior day at Duke recently, and will be on hand for UNC's Junior Day on Saturday.
Hairston also visited Wake Forest for a football game last season with former teammate and South Carolina signee J.T. Surratt.
Hairston is definitely intrigued by Wisconsin's tailback tradition, but says he's not ready to name favorite schools.
Last season, his second as starting tailback, Hairston rushed for 1,279 yards and nine touchdowns on 187 carries.
"He's real fast," Bell said. "He should be – when he gets in track speed – under 11.0 [seconds] in the 100 [meter dash]… He likes the toss, he likes to get outside and use his speed. He's bigger than most people so he can out-run you and run over little DBs.
"And he's strong and he's big. We're going to work on him becoming an inside runner. He has the strength and size to do it; he just wasn't in a scheme that asked for it."
Hairston will be in the proper offensive scheme this coming season. With an abundance of talented receivers on the roster the past few seasons, Parkland, traditionally a run-first team, ran a spread offense. Now with a true I-back in Hairston, Bell is going back to his roots.
"We're going back to what I know and I know running the ball," Bell said. "[Chris] is going to carry it more now than he ever has. We'll be in a one-back with a slot and we'll run it 90-percent of the time… We don't have a fullback, but Chris is an I-back type of kid – tall, lean, fast."
Hairston also handles kickoff and kickoff return duties for Parkland. This off-season, he'll compete for placekicking duties.
As a freshman, Hairston was expected to get into the running back rotation on Parkland's varsity squad. However, a broken collarbone ended his year before it even began in preseason practice.