January 8, 2013

Traverse City OL gaining offers

The top offensive line prospect in Michigan for the class of 2014 could be Connor Hayes of Traverse City West High School in Michigan. SpartanMag.com caught up with the 6-foot-4, 290-pound prospect and got the latest details on his recruitment.

It is very possible that Michigan State may only sign 1 offensive lineman for the class of 2013, Dennis Finley of Detroit Cass Tech High School. That means the Spartan staff will be putting a priority on that position for the class of 2014 and Hayes will certainly be a player the staff closely evaluates ion the coming months. Hayes already holds scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Indiana, Central Michigan and Western Michigan. We spoke with him about his recruitment.

"I have a handful of offers right now," Hayes said. I really have not picked a favorite yet. I am just looking at anywhere that is interested in me. Duke recently contacted me and they are a school I plan on taking a visit there sometime soon."

Hayes was able to check out many of the Big ten schools this past year. Spartanmag.com asked him about those visits and what he is hearing from them.

"I attended a Michigan game this fall, I went to a Minnesota game, an Indiana game, a Pittsburgh game and I went to a Michigan State game as well as spring practice. I have been hearing quite a bit from Michigan, I have been in contact with Coach Funk and Coach Ferigno. I have heard less from Michigan State, Coach Tressel is the coach I have talked with from there."

Hayes went on to indicate that he does not have any close family ties either the Spartans or Wolverines and if he receives an offer from those schools his decision will likely come down to the relationships he has with the coaches and where he fits in with the offense. He talked about his strengths as a player and whether he has a set time-table as far as making a college choice.

"I have no clue as far as when I will decide," Hayes stated. "Wherever I go I hope to be starting by my junior season. I know it will be based on how hard I work. My strengths are that I feel that I have great technique, power and I always finish my blocks."

Hayes had a strong year for Titans and he hopes he can help his team take another step forward next fall for his senior season. TC West finished the 2012 season 6-4, falling to Rockford High School in the first round of the playoffs. In 2013 Hayes will be anchoring both the offensive and defensive lines for TC West

Hayes is known as a blue-collar type of player. He received several post-season accolades for his play and was described best by Lake Michigan Football Report when they said "He's a mauler who also has to mix it up and pass block for TC."

SpartanMag.com will continue to follow the recruitment of Hayes throughout the spring. Keep in mind he already has more scholarship offers than many of the highly rated offensive lineman who will sign with Big Ten teams next month. It may just be a matter of stopping into a couple of camps for the next round of scholarship offers to come.

Matt Dorsey's Take: 2014 will not be as good a year for offensive lineman in-state as 2-13, but Hayes is a player to watch. The Spartans will only sign 1 OL this year while the rival Wolverines will ink 5. Hayes indicated he would like to go to a school that offers a favorable situation for him to earn playing time. From a numbers standpoint there may not be a better year for offensive lineman to take a serious look at Michigan State.

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