A shoulder injury during Week 1 of the season hasn't slowed down 2012 Wade Hampton High RB Blake Hayes. As one of the southeast region's top junior running backs, Hayes has emerged stronger than ever this season. We caught up with the 5'10 200 pound junior recently for an update of the very latest regarding his season and recruitment.
With his teammates Hayes has helped the Generals start the season with a 6-1 record thus far. Having one of the most potent offenses in the state so far is a big part of that success. Hayes talked about the revamped offense this year and his thoughts on the team's production.
"Yeah we have exploded real big and I didn't even play but a down of the first game and I give all the credit to the other backs, Garfield Danridge and Nick Grove. Also the offensive line for making it happen and our wide receivers Hakeem Flowers, Magec Henderson, Brandon Wood, and Lawrence McDowld."
Posting some monster performances along the way this season Hayes talked about some plateaus he'd like to reach before season's end.
"I'd like to have 2,300 yards rushing, 1,000 yards receiving, and 28 touchdowns but most importantly to help keep my team winning."
Hayes says two aspects of his game he's been working hard on improving this season have been to become a better blocker and running with a lower center of gravity.
New NCAA regulations prohibit official offers going out to juniors now but there's plenty of schools who are tracking Hayes rather closely now. He shared with us the schools he's hearing from currently.
"South Carolina, Clemson, LSU, UCLA, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and North Carolina State. From that group I'd say that South Carolina, Clemson, and North Carolina State are recruiting me the hardest right now."
Asked if he had a feeling that one school may be close to offering he told us, "I think that South Carolina is but I'm not too sure. Time will tell though."
Still waiting for that first offer we asked Hayes what he'll feel like when he gets that first offer and if the school that pulled the trigger first would have an advantage in his heart.
"It will feel really good to me to get that first offer and yes the school that offers me first will get extra consideration by being the first to offer."
Hayes has visited Clemson, South Carolina, and Alabama recently and he says that all three schools were great to get a chance to visit.
"I visited South Carolina last week when they played Alabama and Clemson when they played North Texas."
While we've got him ranked #1 in the state at running back for 2012 Hayes says he wants more.
"I will be putting in a lot of work this offseason because I want to be ranked nationally."
Hayes says he and his teammates are taking each game one at a time and looking to continue their winning ways marching towards the AAA playoffs.