Jay Hayes sees himself as J.J. Watt because, like Watt, he swats a lot of passes down. The chance to play Defensive Line played an important role in his decision.
Hayes had offers from Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, UCLA and Wisconsin. Many others including Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama were also interested.
“It was unique to see who wanted me for Offense and Defense,” Hayes said of collegiate suitors.
Notre Dame and Coach Diaco sees him as a Defensive End in their Defense. Hayes stated, “I think they project me to be the next Tuitt.” At 6’5” 270, Hayes definitely fits the build. To compare, Tuitt was 6’5” 260 out of high school.
Hayes always pictured himself as a Defensive End in Notre Dame’s Defense. “I remember playing myself in the video game. I put myself at number 55 at Defensive End and I would always play myself at Notre Dame,” said Hayes.
Hayes attends the Prestigious Ploy Prep High School in Brooklyn, New York that former Notre Dame Offensive Linemen attended. Hayes described it as “the Notre Dame of High Schools.”
Until Hayes is swatting passes down at Notre Dame, Hayes will keep preparing for the moment when his video game fantasy will become a reality. Although he would like to early enroll, Poly Prep typically does not allow for this. Therefore, he will show up for Notre Dame in the summer of 2014. Until that happens, he is going to make sure he is ready for the challenge.
“I’m going to train as hard as I can and show up to camp prepared.”
One additional note. When the Brian Kelly was rumored to be leaving for Philadelphia. Hayes said the night of the rumors, “It’s still Notre Dame.”