|This story originally published on OUInsider.com|
RECRUITING: Jersey LB a man among boys
By James Hale
Date: May 25, 2004
Bayonne, N.J. linebacker Jerome Hayes has 34 offers, but he can't wait to hear more from Oklahoma.
JEROME HAYES, LB, 6'2, 225, 4.55, BAYONNE, NEW JERSEY:
If you are looking for a freak at linebacker then Jerome Hayes is your man, and I mean that in a good way. This guy looks the part and certainly plays like a man among boys.
Hayes was so talented that he started at running back as a freshman, before moving to inside linebacker and fullback his sophomore year. Last season it was back to running back and inside linebacker, which is the same that he will play this season.
"I actually do change hats, because I wear different helmets when I am on offense and defense," said a chuckling Hayes. "I will play where ever I can get on the field. I just want to get on the field. I get pretty amped up to play both, so I don't prefer one over the other."
Hayes finished last season with 64 solo stops and over 100 total tackles on top of his sophomore season when he finished with 118 total tackles. On offense he rushed for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns and he has 34 career touchdowns.Hayes can bench 330 pounds, squats 505 and he has a vertical jump of 35-inches.
Hayes has been to football camps at Penn State, Michigan State and Rutgers before his junior year and he plans to camp at Florida and Miami this summer as well Syracuse, Wisconsin and Rutgers. He hopes to also see a number of schools unofficially. Hayes has been offered by 34 schools at this point and that list is growing.
"I am trying to keep an open mind about the schools. I don't think it would be fair to rank some over the others because I haven't seen them all. Oklahoma is a great program, but I haven't had much of a chance to talk to their coaches because when they called my coaches office I wasn't in. I hope that I hear from them soon. Oklahoma is a big-time program and one that I would have a definite interest in."
Hayes has qualified.