GBMW: Friday Night Lights -- Kenny Hayes 2011 Recruit
*** Editors Note: Had this story ready to go before he committed to Ohio State, but with all the Free Crap stuff this story got pushed back.
I ventured to watch junior Kenny Hayes from Toledo Whitmer (yes the same school that produced Kevin Koger) at Tiffin Columbian Friday night, battling rain showers throughout the night.
Currently, many experts in Ohio have Kenny Hayes as a rising star, while others have placed him on the who to watch list out of the 2011 recruiting class. Translated, making this list means Kenny is heavily considered to be one of the top 25 football players in 2011 Ohio.
Well what I saw was a good athlete, but to me he is very raw. This is, of course, not all that unusual for juniors, or even seniors He has all the measurable that most colleges like (big, somewhat quick, right height, can add good weight to him, and probably a kid that does well at all the camps and combines, etc.).
Right now, if you put a gun to my head and asked me if Kenny is a top 5-10 prospect in Ohio, I would hold off on such a judgment/opinion. He might be a great combine/camp kid, but as a football player he has a lot of improvement to realize, especially if he wants to play defensive end.
On this night, I really did not see the hunger or drive you want out of a pass rushing defensive end. I know that Kenny really likes Ohio State. I know Ohio State has a good number of 2011 scholarships to give. But a very high-level football power may not be comfortable with Kenny as a first choice right now.
*** He committed to Ohio State
Kenny is young and things change, so any judgment at this time would be very tentative and premature. This is a player I hope to see a couple of more times this year to see how he progresses, and also see him early on next year to see his improvement.
In most cases, I like to see a young player at least twice before getting real comfortable regarding saying anything definitive about what kind of football player he might become. In the past, I was more focused on seniors in high school and trying to get a feel about how those players, and their future potential, would fit into the college program of choice.
This was Kenny’s first game of his junior year, so he has nineteen more high school games to go (not counting playoffs). Two years of high school football provides ample time for improvement and technique work. What I saw was a young player who played hard, and at times put pressure on the quarterback. I do not have the final numbers, but do not recall that many tackles (less than seven). I also have to consider he was facing a division three school, and depending on whom I decide to watch in game three, Whitmer could be a team I see again against a tougher team in the same division (D-1).
In this day and age, with how football recruiting is getting earlier and earlier, I would not want to be a college coach having to decide on certain recruits receiving an early offer. Football recruiting, to me, is getting too much like basketball recruiting, where you evaluate these kids earlier and earlier.
In football I am not so sure a high accuracy rate (accurate projections into the future) is really possible, especially considering how much kids change in weeks, months and in a year’s time. Some players that range in the top 100 nationally are a lot easier to spot, compared to recruits that range from the 200-500 area nationally.
The monster programs like USC grab the obvious recruits early and wait until very late to offer others, knowing full well the offer will be quickly gobbled up. I prefer the old way where most college coaches would look at a prospect and get information, but would not offer a younger kid until after the LOI’s were sent in from the latest class. So above is a first-hand account of what I saw at the game watching a future division one prospect.
Kenny supposable has an offer from a Big Ten school already, and that is Illinois. They do an excellent job of recruiting the state of Ohio and seem to really get on players early, which I believe in their situation they must to have any chance of getting ahead of programs such as Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame in the Midwest.
GBMW will continue to scout juniors, along with players that have interest in Michigan that are seniors right now. But I am just not putting much into what I see, or will see from these juniors, until I see them at least twice this year and early next year as well. This would lead to more confidence in the accuracy of the information that is passed on to all of you.
College coaches face the same quandary, but as recruiting becomes earlier in nature, each program will have to decide on strategies that best fit recruiting needs.
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Written by ErocWolverine