The 2004 high school football senior class in New Jersey is one of the best recruiting classes in several years. Among the best players in this class is Jerome Hayes (RB/LB, 6'2"-225lbs, 4.6 forty) from Bayonne H.S in Bayonne, New Jersey.
On Sunday, August 15th, he took an unofficial visit to Rutgers. He described the visit as "great". The visit gave him the opportunity to meet many of the best players in New Jersey and get an idea of what their thoughts are on the recruiting process and Rutgers in particular. In his opinion, many of the recruits "really felt what Coach Schiano was saying".
For Hayes, he has decided on four schools that he will visit. Those schools that were lucky enough to make his top four list and receive a visit were Rutgers, Miami, MSU and, Florida. There are two schools that are fighting for his fifth visit - Virginia Tech and Tennessee.
What does he think of his top six schools?
Miami - He likes the family atmosphere, tradition of great players and winning. He also has a very good relationship with Coach Cristobal
MSU - They were one of the first schools to offer him a scholarship and believes that he can be the next great big back.
Florida - Although they started recruiting him late in his junior year, showed him a lot of "love" during his unofficial visit to their campus. During his visit, Channing Crowder took the time to show him the defensive schemes and provide him with tips to make him a better player. Hayes really appreciated that personal tutorial.
Virginia Tech - He always enjoyed watching them play. They are a great program and he likes Coach Rogers.
Tennessee - Another program that came into his recruitment late in his junior year. But his recruiting coach made a great impression on him. He stressed the importance of a degree and the opportunity to play for a great program.
Rutgers - A couple of years ago, there was no way that he was going to stay home. But from day number one, they told him that they would recruit well; get better facilities, and improve the program. They have delivered on each statement.
- It is a great advantage that they play only twenty minutes away from his home.
- He feels that they will win but he wants to see them start strong and finish strong. It is not about finishing undefeated. He feels that they are no worst than an 8-3 team with a lot of young and explosive athletes.
In his decision making process, the win-loss record will not play a role because this year is this year and next year he will be at the given school; in which things can change drastically . He feels the important factor is trust. That is something that he would have to feel out from each coach. As a result, he will make his decision after all five visits and probably on the Signing Day.
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Donald "Big Dog"
Mike and the Big Dog LLC