December 5, 2011

Hayes talks official visit, BCS

Thomasville athlete Tyler Hayes, a Mr. Football candidate for the state of Alabama, showed off his basketball skills on Friday night, scoring 16 points for the Tigers and proving he has recovered from a leg injury he suffered on the gridiron late in the year.

After the game, Hayes left for Tuscaloosa to take his official visit to the University of Alabama.

The Rivals four-star has been to UA's campus on several occasions throughout the year, but Hayes said that his official visit opened his eyes up to how much more the Capstone has to offer than he originally thought.  

"I'd been down for football games and stuff, but I never saw everything that they've got down there," Hayes said. "The Rec (Center) is huge. It seems like there is just always something to do when you're at Alabama."

On his visit, Hayes met up with two recruits who are currently committed to schools other than Alabama. Jameis Winston, a Florida State commit, and T.J. Yeldon, an Auburn commit, both were visiting Alabama on official visits this weekend.

Hayes said that while the two seemingly had a great time in Tuscaloosa, they didn't give any indication that they would be switching over to the Tide.

"Jameis definitely had a good time, but he didn't give much away," Hayes said. "T.J. seems like he might switch, but you just never know."  

On Sunday, Hayes and the other recruits who were in town went to Nick Saban's home to have breakfast and enjoy themselves. The UA commitment said that it was an opportunity to just hang out with the Alabama head coach and his future teammates.

"We had breakfast with Saban, and his place is awesome," Hayes said. "We rode golf carts down to the lake and fed the catfish. Everyone was having a good time."

Listed as an athlete, Hayes played everything from quarterback to linebacker to running back to punter while at Thomasville High School. He spoke with some of the current players on Alabama's team about where he might fit in on the Crimson Tide's defense.

At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, he said that he thinks he'll start at linebacker, but he can't be certain until he hits the practice field.

This week, Hayes plans to participate in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game in Montgomery where he will be joined by several of his future teammates. Before turning his focus to that, the longtime Crimson Tide fan was excited to see Alabama make the BCS National Championship Game.

"This is what everyone wanted, especially me," Hayes said. "Alabama vs. LSU, and the best team wins it all. LSU is great, but I think Alabama is going into it with something to prove. It's going to be a great game."       

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