Hayes has grown to 6'4, 260-lbs, a lot of that due to time spent this off-season knowing that he will have an increased role this year.
"I've been working very hard," he said. "All winter I've been lifting."
Hoosiers offensive line coach Greg Frye had recruited his teammate, Jake Fisher to Michigan last year before Frye went to Indiana and Fisher switched to Oregon. On his trip up to Traverse City though, young Connor caught his eye and in turn, Hayes went down to Bloomington for camp.
"I got pretty good feedback. I really like Coach Frye. I did not learn a whole lot of new things, just perfecting everything."
His other camp was at Central Michigan, where he has family ties to their athletic programs.
"That was pretty good too. I've known all those coaches for awhile, since my dad played there and my mom played basketball there too."
Hayes calls watching Fisher go through the recruiting process "interesting," and it gave him an idea of what to expect over the next couple of years. Being as young as he is, and as early as it is, he says his main priority is helping his Titans get as far as they can this year.
"I think we're going to do pretty well," he admitted. "We came together as a team within the last couple days."