For about seven months, Tyler Hayek was the only football player at Wayne (N.J.) Hills headed to Rutgers.
On National Signing Day last Wednesday, he was one of three.
“Since the summer when I got my offer, I’m glad I got to commit early,” said Tyler Hayek. “I felt comfortable throughout the season. I actually had my offer and felt secure, but I had to put in work throughout the season. But just to have it, going to Rutgers, my brother and Brendan, it’s just a great feeling.”
When Chris Ash hired ffensive coordinator Jerry Kill, Rutgers flipped DeVera from Delaware to play H-back. DeVera, who started quarterback and middle linebacker for Wayne Hills, expects immediate contribution for Kill’s spread offense.
“As soon as he came to Rutgers, the coaching staff, we had a good connection,” DeVera said of Kill. “We talk almost every day now. When I went on my official visit, he was drawing up plays for me for an hour and a half during breakfast. I just like the direction where he’s bringing the offense and what he’s doing with the program and how he’s going to put things into the offense with the H-back and all these different types of formations.”
Like DeVera, Kill found teammate Hunter Hayek late in the recruiting process. Hunter Hayek flipped from Holy Cross to Rutgers when Kill gave him an offer as a slot receiver that he couldn’t refuse.
“He told me that they like me slot receiver, that there’s not a lot of Wes Welkers in this world, so I am one of them, he said,” Hunter Hayek said. “He’s just looking for speed, looking for playmakers. Rutgers was lacking a couple of big plays last year and he said, ‘We’re trying to bring in good players.’ He made the final push for me … I trust the man a lot. I’m really excited to work with him and learn from his experience, and all of the years he’s coached. Definitely a man that’s really wise, and I’m just really excited to work with him.”
The Hayek twins and DeVera were instrumental in a dynamic Wayne Hills team that overcame adversity for an undefeated season capped by a state championship.
Head coach Wayne Demikoff commended the three for their roles as playmakers on the offense and as leaders for the team through turbulent times.
“From the get-go, they’ve been resilient,” Demikoff said. “That was a big thing for us … we knew those kids had that inside of them and that gave them an opportunity to show it. They’re going to face adversity going forward — in college, in their four years, everything else. There’s not much that they can throw at them and they can’t handle.”
The Wayne Hills trio joins the rest of the 2017 class when it enrolls in June. Tyler Hayek said he sees plenty to look forward to with the surrounding talent and leadership on offense.
He referred to quarterback signee Johnathan Lewis of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep as one of them.
“We’re going to be running four personnel and we have a good quarterback (Lewis) coming in with a strong arm and we have great, fast receivers,” Tyler Hayek said. “So, I feel like we’re just going to sling the ball a lot and we’re going to have a great thing.”
“I watched his game at states … (Lewis) was just running people over and he took charge, and everybody saw it. If you were watching the game, you knew who the player was. So, I can’t wait to be playing with him.”