Hayes gives back

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 25, 2011 - 9:01 AM

The St. Thomas Academy lineman listened to Gophers coach Jerry Kill's pitch to stay home.

hide

Isaac Hayes (middle)

Photo: Star Tribune photo,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Gophers football program long has been criticized for losing the recruiting battle for top in-state talent. St. Thomas Academy lineman Isaac Hayes wants that to change, and just two weeks ago he took matters into his own hands.

"Coach [Jerry] Kill stressed playing for the home team and closing down the border," Hayes said. "Give back to Minnesota."

The 6-3, 275-pound senior, who received offers from high-profile programs such as Virginia Tech, Boise State, Oregon State, Iowa and several others, verbally committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2012 season.

A lifelong Gophers fan, Hayes always dreamed about playing for the Maroon and Gold. He made a connection with the coaching staff and believed in what they were selling.

"I think Coach Kill is going to do a really good job turning the program around and making Minnesota a great team again, and just being part of that is one of the main reasons," Hayes said. "I think that they can do it here in Minnesota. Just being part of that, turning the program around, it's proving people wrong that Minnesota can return to greatness."

Hayes especially liked longtime line coach and first-year Gophers offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover, whom Cadets coach Dave Ziebarth called a great teacher.

"When you watch him, he really cares about the kids that he's coaching," Ziebarth said. "I think Isaac really wanted to get into a situation like that and it was just the perfect fit. They really wanted him, and he found a real bond with them."

But football was not the lone factor in Hayes' college decision. Academics were of the utmost importance. He aspires to be an engineer, so the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering helped complete the overall college picture. Hayes, whose older brother Anthony will play for Stanford this fall, also wanted to be close to home.

Helping lead the Cadets to an 11-1 record and Class 4A state semifinal appearance last season, Hayes brings size, speed and a mean streak. His overall athleticism separates him from the pack.

"As you move up, on every level from JV to varsity in high school and then into college ranks, it's really speed and quickness that makes a difference," Ziebarth said. "He has that."

For now the Gophers offensive staff wants Hayes at center, while the defense hopes to get him at defensive tackle.

"Wherever I can help out the team the earliest," Hayes said.

As one of the most heavily recruited players of his class, Hayes is glad to get this decision out of the way. Widely known as a team guy, he can now focus on the upcoming season at St. Thomas. Despite losing many key seniors to graduation, the Cadets again will have lofty expectations with a strong returning group. St. Thomas Academy has won five conference titles in the past 11 years and 10 section championships in the past 14.

After reaching the state semifinals the past two seasons, Ziebarth said he believes his Gophers recruit can set the tone and get his squad over that hump.

"If we get them all to work as hard as he does, we're going to be in great shape," Ziebarth said.

  • related content

  • Crockett will keep giving 110 percent

    Monday July 25, 2011

    Jordan Crockett of Apple Valley is preparing for life after high school. He concluded his prep career as a member of the Eagles' state championship 4x100 relay team at the...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 7 1st Qtr 1:29
San Francisco 0
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 2nd Prd 17:48
Nashville 0
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 16 1st Half 7:57
Western Mich 20
Marquette 10 1st Half 14:46
Georgia Tech 5
Stephen F Austin 0 1st Half 20:00
Prairie View 0
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
LSU 14 2nd Qtr 0:34
Texas A&M 7
(6) TCU 20 2nd Qtr 0:55
Texas 3
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 16 1st Half 3:37
Richmond 21
Oklahoma 11 1st Half 7:48
South Florida 19
Princeton 26 1st Half 7:16
Wake Forest 12
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will the Gophers bring home The Axe?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close