With nearly a dozen scholarship offers currently in hand, Hayes is a hot commodity, and a prospect that the Tennessee coaching staff would probably love to land on the heels of the Bryce Brown departure.
With so many schools vying for Hayes' attention, keeping an updated list at the ready is becoming something of a task.
"Let's see, I've got offers from Tennessee, Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Kansas…wow, there's a lot. It's hard to think of them all."
Hayes plans to visit the Vols this summer, though he has yet to set up an exact date due to possible scheduling conflicts. A good student, the academic support is a factor that will weigh heavily in his decision.
"I plan to come to Tennessee sometime in June. I might have track things to do that month, but a set visit date is something that is definitely under consideration," the 5-foot-10, 185-pound back said. "I definitely want to get a chance to meet the coaching staff, see the stadium and learn about study hall and things like that. I want to see how they compare academically and get a chance to see how they work, see how they roll."
As far as favorites go, Hayes has yet to name an outright leader, but didn't hesitate when asked about Tennessee's current standing.
"Oh yeah, they're definitely in my top 3," he said.
Hayes finished his junior season with 1,400 yard rushing for 15 touchdowns on 175 carries. He says he can bench 265-pounds, squat 460 and claims a 35-inch vertical jump.
He rushed for 1,122 yards on 163 carries and five touchdowns as a sophomore. Also caught 22 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown.
"I'm quick and have great speed. I can make defenders miss and take it to the end zone on any given play. I'm also not afraid to go up the middle, but I'm more of a shifty, all-purpose back.
"I still want to continue getting faster and work on my flat out speed. Plus, I want to get bigger and stronger and be more of an every-down back."
Thought not a mid-term enrollee, Hayes is on track to qualify with a 3.0 GPA and a 20 ACT. He averaged 7.5 yards per carry as a junior. He is currently rated as a four star prospect by Scout.com and is rated the No. 15 overall running back in the country.