Super LB Jerome Hayes Lists Top 4 with 2 Leading

Four-star linebacker prospect <B>Jerome Hayes</b> lists a Top 4 for his services with 2 leading the way. All that could change over the next month. He's taken four official visits thus far and is thinking about a possible 5th. Who will get his last?

One of the nation's most sought after linebacker prospects is Jerome Hayes from Bayonne (N.J.) High School. Hayes, 6-2 and 225 pounds, also plays running back. As a senior he rushed for over 1,200 yards and 17 scores. Defensively, he racked up 103 tackles, two interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Hayes has already taken four official visits – Florida, Rutgers, Michigan State and Miami.

"I go back to school next week and then I have the all-star game (U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, Texas)," said Hayes. "I plan on sitting down and talking with my parents about that last visit. I am considering Nebraska, Penn State, Michigan and Louisville for that last trip."

His first official visit was to Gainesville and the University of Florida back in early October before the dismissal of Head Coach Ron Zook. Where do the Gators stand with Mr. Hayes? "I am still high on Florida. They kept two coaches (Mike Locksley and Charlie Strong) that were recruiting me. They need linebackers. I also spoke with Coach (Urban) Meyer and he has a great offensive mind. Plus, they have Chris Leak and all those players."

Hayes then got real busy after the season and visited three teams. First up for him was the home state team, Rutgers. "They (Rutgers) were the first team to offer me a scholarship. It's only 20 minutes away so it's close to home. I really like the people there and their facilities. And they are the home team so to speak."

Next up was a trip to East Lansing to see the Spartans. With Michigan State, there's a twist, as they like him on the offensive side of the ball. "Michigan State likes me more as a running back, a big back like they had with T.J. Duckett. That's pretty appealing to me right now."

Finally, he visited the Miami Hurricanes in mid-December and like most recruits he walked away from Coral Gables more than impressed with the "Canes. "They (Miami) have a lot of great people there that I really like. They have great coaches, tradition and it's a private school. So I don't have to worry about the huge classrooms."

So Hayes has to figure out who will get that final visit and then he will have to choose his college destination. Where does he stand right now? "I really don't have one team that leads but I would say that Florida and Miami stand out. There's a real good chance that I will play in the state of Florida. As far as a decision, I may wait until Signing Day."

Hayes is a member of the National Top 100 prospects and is currently ranked as the nation's 14th best linebacker prospect.

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