Junior College Defensive Tackle Picks OSU

Sometimes recruiting moves fast and at times it moves at warp speed. That had to be the way it felt for former junior college defensive tackle Maurice Hayes this weekend while he was visiting Oklahoma State. Of course, the adversity and the waiting that Hayes has endured allowed him to accept the rapid movement from recruit to enrolling and ready to move in for college this week in Stillwater.

"Yes sir, my visit is over and I'm over here in the village (OSU dorm apartments area) checking things out and i will move in sometime later this week," said the 6-4, 325-pound defensive tackle that will be a junior for next season.

Hayes was comitted to Alabama-Birmingham after completing his sophomore season in 2009 at Bakersfield (Calif.) Community College, but never attended UAB. However, we did find out he was in their fall camp and practiced during their two-a-days before learning he did not pass his summer course that he took and was not eligible to transfer at that time.

He spent this fall getting his academic requirements squared away and he is now free to enroll at any school in January, and it appears it will be Oklahoma State.

As a player, Hayes had 24 tackles in 2009 with 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. As a freshman at Bakersfield he had 27 tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks

"As far as my outlook on things, I really regard this as a huge blessing," said Hayes of the opportunity at Oklahoma State. "With all the things that I had to go through and the adversity and then to land here is really a blessing.

"I was dealing with academics and in the summer I took a college Algebra course and then I was in fall camp practicing at UAB and my transcript came back and I didn't make it and I had to take it over again. That was really tough.

"My girlfriend and my momma knew on Saturdays this fall not to bother me because I was watching college football and I was thinking how that should be me out there. You know things happen for a reason," he said.

Hayes said he is well aware of the Cowboys need for players and depth at defensive tackle. He said that is something that he talked about with OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young.

Hayes said he will major in Psychology, and that he is amazed and impressed with all the support that is in place academically for the student-athletes at Oklahoma State. He said he is also impressed and comfortable with how close Oklahoma State and Stillwater are to his former junior college home at Bakersfield and his hometown of Lindale, Ga.

"Stillwater and OSU like Bakersfield is a lot of agriculture, and around Bakersfield there are thousands of oil wells. You know when I got off the plane here and we started driving, I called my girlfriend and told here this was just like Bakersfield," explained Hayes.

"Lindale is a small town about like Stillwater without the big college campus. It's one of those towns where everybody is friendly because everybody knows everybody. You know it's a Southern town with Southern hospitality."

Hayes added that the facilities are unlike anything he had seen and the coaches seem really good and that he is ready to get after it. Hayes will have two years to play two years as this past fall will be treated like a redshirt season on his five-year clock with the NCAA.

His video, which is available on YouTube from his 2008 and 2009 seasons at Bakersfield, is pretty good. He shows that he is really strong and can more than hold his ground and also get push in the pass rush. He shows pretty good feet and that he doesn't give up on plays as he comes back to make tackles after initially being blocked.

Playing with more leaverage and using hands better, which are two areas all defensive linemen can improve in, are weaknesses. He is listed as an all-conference player in the Southern California Junior College Conference.

The only step left for Hayes is to get his belongings and make his way back to Stillwater to move in later this week. He will join a fellow Georgian in defensive end Ryan Robinson, along with another junior college transfer in offensive tackle Michael Bowie, and high school early arrivals in quarterback J.W. Walsh and offensive lineman Travis Cross, and 2009 signee and gray-shirt linebacker Kris Catlin as January additions to the Oklahoma State football roster.

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