Most figured that Hayes joining OSU's 2013 recruiting class was a foregone conclusion when he earned a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes on Aug. 1, but the 6-7, 214-pounder told BSB that he has a lot of thinking to do before arriving at a decision.
"Since I am done with my last visit, I am really going to just go home, take some time and get down to going over the pros and cons for all the schools and figuring out which one is best for me," Hayes said. "I wouldn't say it is going to be stressful, but just tough. That's the right word for it."
Hayes said Ohio State helped its cause while he was in town for the football Buckeyes' 63-38 win over Nebraska, a night game in Ohio Stadium that set a new attendance record at the Horseshoe. During a break in the first quarter, the basketball team from last season was presented with its Final Four rings.
Hayes said it was a nice experience to spend time with the coaching staff and get to know some of the current players. Life as a Buckeye, he said, seems appealing after spending time with people who could eventually become his future teammates.
"It was very exciting and it was just a great visit," Hayes said. "It was a very exciting game and very high-scoring, and it being a night game, there were a lot of people there. I think it was a great game experience.
"I really liked how the players felt about the program and the things they told me about how it would be to be a player down here at Ohio State.
When conversing with the OSU coaching staff, Hayes said the main point was that he could be an essential building block who could help the program get back to the Final Four.
"Their plan really was to use me to help them win a national championship," he said. "That's the message they conveyed to me – that coming here I'd be able to get better and ultimately compete for a national championship."
The Buckeyes aren't a slam dunk to land Hayes' services, though, especially given that the power forward had positive official visits at the other three schools he's still considering.
"It is really tough because all four of the schools I really like," he said. "I really like all the coaching staffs and the people around there, but I ultimately have to pick one.
"It is going to be tough because you just got to build some great relationships with people through the recruiting process and it will be tough to tell them that they were great, but I'd rather go to someone else."