Offensive lineman Alex Hayes has signed with the Orange. Signing day is always a sense of relief for recruits as the process is over. Now, he is able to focus on the game he loves.
"It's a sense of relief, you know?" Hayes offered. "Knowing that the coaches are good, that recruiting is over is good. But it's also a sense of urgency. I was grinding before, but I have to grind harder. I've got to step up my game and up my training before I get there to do what I have to do when I get there."
Faxing the signed letter should be the easiest part of the entire recruiting process. However, for Hayes, even that had some dramatic moments.
"I was trying to send it for two or three minutes, but it just wouldn't send," he said with a laugh. "It said ‘fax error' several times. Then said fax error some more…"
Once the fax finally went through, he received a call from his future coaches. That raised his level of excitement for his Syracuse career.
"Coach (George) McDonald called me first," Hayes explained. "He said congratulations. He was excited. Then he handed the phone to coach (Scott) Shafer. He said ‘we see the fax coming.' He said ‘congrats to you and the fam and well done.' Then he handed the phone to coach (Pat) Perles, and he said ‘like I told you, you've done the easy part. It's official now. No more recruiting-me. Now you're going to get the real me. Time to grind.'"
"I liked to be coached up, I love it. It's just the game. He's going to coach me well. He's an intelligent guy."
After reflecting on the moment, Hayes looked towards the future with a special message to Syracuse fans.
"Looking forward to seeing all you fans in the Carrier Dome!" Hayes exclaimed. "Go ‘Cuse Nation!"
CuseNation.com's Mike McAllister contributed to this report