On Thursday, we released an article introducing BYU commit Kaleb Hayes. If you missed the first part of our conversation, you can watch it here:
As promised, you can watch the second half of my conversation with Hayes in the video above.
Shortly after he entered the transfer portal in January, Oregon State cornerback Kaleb Hayes heard from BYU cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford. It didn't take long for Coach Gilford to rekindle the connection he made with Hayes when he recruited him in high school. Kaleb Hayes shut down his transfer recruitment shortly thereafter and committed to BYU. "I felt comfortable," Hayes said. "Something about the program, something about those coaches, something struck within me. That's where I wanted to be at."
Hayes is quiet on social media. In fact, he only returned to Twitter once he found out that many coaches do their transfer portal recruiting via Twitter. Despite making a verbal pledge to BYU back in January, Hayes kept the news off of social media.'
I've been in contact with Hayes for a few months, and I recently reached out to him to request an interview. Prior to the interview, I asked Hayes whether he wanted to do the interview as a BYU commit or a BYU target. "Well, I've been committed since January." He paused and said with a smile, "Whatever makes the story juicier." With his permission, I'm excited to publish my interview with BYU COMMIT Kaleb Hayes.
Hayes prepped at San Gorgonio High School in San Bernardino, California. He was recruited by Oregon State as an athlete, but he played quarterback in high school. During his redshirt freshman season at Oregon State, Hayes learned how to play the cornerback position. "I didn't know how to back peddle," Hayes said jokingly about his first year in Corvallis.
Hayes took full advantage of his redshirt season. By the time he stepped onto the field as a redshirt freshman, he was one of the best cornerbacks in the PAC-12. According to Pro Football Focus in 2019, Hayes had the lowest catch rate allowed of any returning PAC-12 cornerback at 45.7%. He also "limited receivers to 88 yards after the catch."
Hayes dealt with injuries as a sophomore - he was only able to appear in two games that season after appearing in 12 games as a redshirt freshman.
I asked Hayes which receiver was his most difficult assignment during his time at Oregon State. Hayes declined to answered and explained his respect for all the receivers he faced. Then he paused to clarify, "I respect all but fear none."
According to Hayes, he has two years of eligibility remaining, and he plans to arrive in Provo in late June or early July. BYU's recruiting policy in the transfer portal is pretty straightforward - they only recruit players that can contribute right away. Hayes has the talent to do just that.
You probably noticed that our site looks a little different. It is currently under construction and the commenting capability is turned off. While we work on some exciting updates to improve your experience, you can ask us questions through one of our social media channels:
Facebook - @BYUSportsIllustrated
Instagram - @BYU_SI