He had surgery to repair the injury later in the month and was told to expect nine months of rehab before he'd be ready to play again.
But just four months later, in an exclusive video interview with FightOnState.com, Hayes was feeling much better about things.
One reason was because we caught up with him during an event in which Penn State football players gave tours of the program's facilities to children who have battled various forms of cancer. Compared to that hardship, a torn anterior cruciate ligament does not seem all that bad.
Another reason was because — by the looks of things — Hayes was at least on schedule in his rehab from the injury, if not a little bit ahead. Oh, he still had a bulky brace hanging in his locker in Lasch Building. And he does not expect to engage in any contact drills during spring practice, which start March 24.
But he is already running a bit and expects to be back at full speed well before the initial nine-month estimate.
Check out this episode of FOS-TV to get up to speed with Hayes.