Jerome Hayes is among the most highly recruited players in the country. This is not without good reason. Although he is a highly ranked LB, he is also Division 1A prospect as a HB. As a junior, he rushed for 1,100 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. At 6'2"-235lbs, he is the big back that many programs are looking to punish defenses with . However, the speed and quickness that makes him a standout RB makes him an outstanding LB who accounted for over 100 tackles as a junior.
His efforts have not went unnoticed. Over 40 schools have offered him a full scholarship. Although he has not completed his top 10 list, six schools already have a position reserved in Hayes' top 10. Those schools are Rutgers, Miami, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan State, and Virginia Tech. He intends on narrowing down his list to five schools before or after the football season.
If he is selected for the US Army All-American game, he intends on making his decision known during the game. If not, he will make his decision on Signing Day.
As his recruitment heats up, there are a few schools that have impressed him. He stated that Michigan State, Florida, and Rutgers have really knocked his socks off. During his visits to those schools, he stated that there was nothing but love. He has really felt comfortable with those coaches and programs.
Like most players, playing time is a key decision point. However, he stated that he has no problem redshirting. It would give him the opportunity to get acclimated to the school and the program. However, depth at his given position does not bother him. He feels that he can play anywhere and has no problem competing for a starting position. He also has no problem switching between RB and LB or vicea-versa.
Like many standout performers, Hayes has a number of goals for college. He would like to obtain his college degree, mature as a player and person, win a national championship, and advance to the NFL.
During the week of July 12th, he and his parents took an unofficial visit to Rutgers. They were impressed by the facilities, dorms, and the coaches. They liked the fact that everyone knew Jerome's name. They met the Dean of Rutgers College. Jerome like that conversation with him and regarded him as a "cool guy".
He also stated that two years ago that he could not see himself playing at Rutgers, but now he could. Rutgers is up there among his favorites due to their numerous upgrades in facilities and the improvements to the program. Rutgers has done everything that they have said they would; such as upgraded the facilities and have gotten the team bigger stronger and faster. There is also the appeal of playing in front of his family and friends. He stated that it could be a factor but his parents would watch him where ever he decided to play. But Rutgers has done everything right and have pulled out all of the stops. They have put themselves in the position to be "the team".
Antone Smith and Jerome Hayes
During the Rutgers camp, Hayes developed a friend with Antone Smith and has been in contact with him ever since that time. Haynes will be taking an unofficial visit to Miami on Friday, July 23. During the visit Smith and Hayes will be hanging out. They have even toyed with the idea of a package deal. But the idea will not limit his choices. Hayes stated if it happens, it happens but they have not discussed it in detail. Obviously, one of the schools that they have in common is Rutgers and Antone has stated to Hayes that he really liked Rutgers and everything about it. So Rutgers could be a possibility for both players.
Donald "Big Dog"
Mike and the Big Dog LLC