Justice Hayes from Grand Blanc High School (Grand Blanc, Mich.) has had a busy spring so recruiting…
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Justice Hayes, the 5-foot-10, 182-pound four-star running back from Community High School in Grand Blanc, Mich., says he has over 20 scholarship offers but has narrowed down his choices to six favorites. Hayes, ranked as the No. 15 running back in the country by Scout.com, now admits to favoring Michigan State and Notre Dame slightly over Iowa, Northwestern, Tennessee and Michigan. All have offered. He grew up following Michigan State and says he likes the direction the Spartans are headed. "I feel like they're really heading to the next level," Hayes said. "They're turning it around and have gotten some big five-star players recently. "I think they'll be contending for a national title soon," he said. But Hayes says he also thinks that Notre Dame is coming up as well. "Coach Brian Kelly is making a huge impact already," he said. "He's a great coach and I keep hearing good things about him from everyone. He's won everywhere he's been." Hayes says he'll be keeping a close eye on these programs this fall. "I'll be going to games at all of them," he said. "I'm excited to see how they play and how they do. That's going to be something I look at because I want to go somewhere that is on-the-rise and getting better." Michigan State, Notre Dame and Michigan are the three schools recruiting him the hardest. "They email me all the time," he said. "They're always asking me to call them and are constantly inviting me to visit them. It feels like that three are hitting me the hardest." Although he grew up following Michigan State, Hayes is also considering the Spartans in-state rival, Michigan. "They're trying to get back," he said. "They're going out and recruiting and that's really all they can do to get back on the map. "I hope they can pick it up this season," he said about the Wolverines. "I think they will." Another Big Ten school that Hayes says is a contender is Iowa. "They have a great offense," he said. "It's all about the tailback there. They've produced some good NFL players too and I have a great relationship with the coaches too." In fact, he says that coach Kirk Ferentz is a big reason he thinks so highly of the Hawkeyes. "He's a real nice guy," he said. "I can see his heart is really into it. He truly cares about his players. That really comes across when you talk to him." The only school from his top six that Hayes has not visited yet is Tennessee. He plans to visit the Vols in two weeks. "That's a big program," he said. "The SEC is a high powered conference and I think that's a great place to go to compete. "It would be a challenge because you're always playing against the best," he said. "Mark Ingram (Alabama running back) went to my high school and seeing him succeed in the SEC makes me think that I can do it too." Hayes says he also likes the new Vols coaches as well. "Coach Derek Dooley is a good guy," he said. "And I like coach Charlie Baggett a lot. He used to coach at Michigan State a while back and we get along good." Hayes plans on making a decision after his senior season. "At the beginning of the whole recruiting thing I thought I'd get it done early," he said. "But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I should take my time. "I need to sit down and really think about it more," he said. "I don't want to mess up and choose the wrong place." So how is Hayes going to choose from his options. "These six are all great and I can see myself at any of them," he said. "I want to be where I can live for four years and feel good," he said. "I want to love where I'm at. I want to trust the coaches and have it be like a family." Hayes says he's considering majoring in business or going into law. He reports a 2.9 core GPA and a 20 ACT.
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