The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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BY AUSTIN FOX Although Traverse City (Mich.) West three-star Ryan Hayes primar- ily played tight end during his prep career, U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh has said he could play either offensive tackle or tight end at Michigan. Petoskey (Mich.) High head coach Kerry Van Orman — whose North- men squad fell to Traverse City West, 52-20, on Sept. 15 — watched Hayes throughout his whole high school ca- reer and has no doubt he would make an excellent collegiate tackle. "He'll have to learn the blocking schemes, but he's got the athletic skill and ability to pick it up," Van Or- man said. "He'll need to add weight, too, but he's capable of putting on 25 pounds and not losing any athleti- cism." However, Van Orman also said the skills Hayes flashed at Traverse City West as a tight end may be too valu- able not to take advantage of. "He was dominant against us as a tight end," the Petoskey head coach said. "He does an amazing job getting off the ball — he was so difficult for our kids to line up against. TC West would just throw the ball up to him, and he'd out jump everyone. "I actually watched him in a bas- ketball game recently, too, and it's just amazing how great of an athlete he is — he was out there knocking down threes left and right." Traverse City West head coach Tim Wooer was in agreement about Hayes' special athletic abilities. "Ryan is the leading scorer and re- bounder on our basketball team, and was the top pitcher on our baseball squad last year," Wooer said. "Ryan didn't leave here early to begin his col- lege career and is remaining loyal to his high school basketball team. "He wants to enjoy the rest of his career here, which I think is important. It's refreshing to see." Hayes' combination of size (6-7, 262 pounds) and athleticism sets him apart from others, and Wooer had an inter- esting comparison for him. "Ryan was a [New England Patri- ots tight end] Rob Gronkowski-type player at the high school level," he said. "They're both about 6-6 or 6-7, and every team we played had to double cover him. They'd also try and press him at the line of scrimmage, but he'd just go right over the top of them to get the ball. "Which position he plays at Michi- gan will depend on how big he gets. He has the potential to be a first- or second-round NFL Draft pick at tackle. "We were fortunate enough to have a lineman here named Jake Fisher in 2010. He went on to play at Oregon and become a second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Ryan is very similar to Jake." ❏ Ryan Hayes Could Play Tight End Or Offensive Tackle At Michigan STATISTICS Year Rec. Yards TDs Avg. 2017 24 515 5 21.4 2016 20 311 0 15.5 HONORS • Named to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News Dream Teams (all classifi- cations) as a senior defensive lineman. • Listed on the 2017 USA Today All- State second team as a tight end. • Tabbed as an Associated Press Divi- sion 1-2 first-team All-State lineman; he was an honorable mention in 2016. • Was No. 6 on The Detroit News' Blue Chips listing of the state's top players. RECRUITMENT • Committed on May 27, 2017. • Chose U-M over Notre Dame, Michi- gan State, Northwestern, Minnesota, TCU, Virginia, Cal and others. DID YOU KNOW? • Born Feb. 28, 2000. • Mom played basketball at Central Michigan and is in the school's Hall of Fame. His dad played football at CMU. • Big North Conference Basketball Player of the Year and Big North Con- ference Pitcher of the Year as a junior. THEY SAID IT • U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh: "Ryan Hayes was actually a tight end in high school and is about 6-7 — he's long and athletic and is a guy you'd like to move into the offensive line. I think he will project very well to be an offensive tackle as Mother Na- ture takes over and he gets into the strength program here with Coach [Ben] Herbert. "He has a lot of upside to be a very athletic lineman, like many guys who have started out as a tight end and moved into the offensive line to play tackle. I think Ryan will be fantastic." RYAN HAYES TIGHT END 6-7 • 262 TRAVERSE CITY WEST HIGH TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — 48^ 17 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 140 12^ 3 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ — 29^ 7 ^ Ranking as an offensive tackle 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 2018 Projection Hayes' future at Michigan is intrigu- ing because he's being brought in as a tight end, but could potentially transition into a tackle if he con- tinues to grow. In either scenario, it's doubtful he'll see the field as a freshman in 2018. A redshirt season would be very beneficial for Hayes. Hayes was named an All-State Dream Team member by both the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News as a senior defensive lineman — but his future is on offense. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 61

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