Florida State has welcomed in a handful of recruits over the last few weeks for unofficial visits. On Monday Leon offensive linemen Quentez Ruffin and Chris Sands stopped by. Madison County standouts Eugene "Geno" Hayes and Brian Peacock were the latest to check out a Seminole practice.
Hayes, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker, posted an impressive 18 and 1/2 sacks last season for the 2A runners-up. He also led Madison County with 130 tackles (20 for loss) and three interceptions while splitting time between defensive end and linebacker. He projects as an outside linebacker in college.
Hayes spent most of Wednesday afternoon watching Mickey Andrews' run his defense through a practice and scrimmage. It was not a wasted trip, as the excited recruit couldn't stop raving about the way FSU's defense practices.
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"Practice was great - I like they way they were out there hitting everything," Hayes said. "They were laying some licks. They go hard every play. I see that now."
At this early stage in the recruiting process for the class of 2005, Hayes has several scholarship offers, but not one from Florida State yet. Between the spring evaluation period, which starts later this month, and FSU's July Football Camp, which Hayes plans to attend, there is an excellent chance that an offer will be forthcoming before the start of his senior season. If that happens, you have to like the 'Noles' chances.
"Growing up every Saturday I had to sit down and watch (FSU) because my dad is a Seminole fan," he said.
The first team all-state linebacker already has offers from Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville and Notre Dame. In addition to those teams, and FSU, Georgia, Auburn, North Carolina and NC State are showing heavy interest.
Hayes carries a 2.8 GPA and will take the ACT this Saturday. He will attend the May 8th NIKE Training Camp in Atlanta.