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Much traveled, Hayes finds a home in Ann Arbor

Football   | Jeff Dullack

Much traveled, Hayes finds a home in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor – Daelin Hayes has become one of the most coveted football recruits in the country, but hadn’t found a school to call home until this past summer.

After bouncing around from school to school for the first three years, Hayes finally found a home at Ann Arbor Skyline.

“This is the most at home I’ve ever felt at a school to say the least,” Hayes said. “These guys are great, it's a great team, great coaching and a great opportunity to come out and do great things this year. Being able to have a stable school is going to help me a lot.

“Being healthy, being in a stable environment and zoning in, from going all over the country to camps at USC, to The Opening (football camp) and bringing everything back home, and being able to compete with my guys and dominating on Friday nights.”

Hayes played for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s as a sophomore and transferred to St. Bonaventure High in California for his junior year. He played in three games then returned back to Michigan midway through last season.

Hayes originally enrolled at Detroit Cass Tech after returning to Michigan, but transferred to Skyline before his senior season and will look to help turn around a program that finished 0-9 in 2014.

As for what Hayes expects from himself and his teammates in 2015, the answer was simply to focus on the task at hand.

“The expectation is to take it one game at a time and to dominate one game at a time,” he said following his team’s midnight football practice early Monday.

Hayes is a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com and committed to the University of Southern California last summer.

Hayes has also fielded scholarship offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State and a handful of other high level Division 1 schools, but remains committed to USC.

Skyline coach Chanterius Brock said that what makes Hayes a special player is the great person that he is as well as the fact that he wants to learn, and that is something that other players have noticed.

“First of all, he’s just a great kid, a great person, a hard worker and a great student, so he sets a good example across the board,” he said. “He’s also a sponge that wants to be coached, he’s a very coachable kid. So when you talk about being able to get certain responses out of other kids by the way we coach him. He’s not a thin-skinned ego guy, he’s a go-hard guy that’s really hungry to be coached.”

Hayes (6-4, 225) will start at linebacker and will also see time at running back. He was selected to State Champs preseason Hungry Howie’s Mr. Football top 10 list.

Even though it is just his first year at Skyline, Hayes said that he wants to have a leadership role for the Eagles this year and added he wants to be more than just a five-star football player this fall.

“Absolutely, why not?” he said. “Why not live up to the hype? Not only being a five-star athlete, but being a five-star student, being a 5-star teammate and being a five-star leader. Why not be the best at everything you do? God gives everyone gifts and I’m going to use mine.”

Hayes and Skyline will open the season on August 27 at Westland John Glenn.