Syracuse football has landed its fourth portal commitment as Michigan State wide receiver transfer CJ Hayes committed to the Orange. The 6-2 wideout spent the 2017 through 2021 seasons with the Spartans and has one year of eligibility remaining.
Hayes visited Syracuse this week in what turned out to be a dual purpose trip. The first was to check out the campus and football facilities for the first time. The second was to move in at Syracuse. Hayes traveled to SU in a U-Haul with his belongings with the intention of not leaving once he arrived. He was spotted at Syracuse's game against Clemson Tuesday night.
Syracuse has had success with transfer wide receivers in the past. Amba Etta-Tawo came to the Orange from Maryland after accumulating just 30 catches for 438 yards with the Terrapins. He had 94 receptions for 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns during his one season at Syracuse. Trishton Jackson transferred in from Michigan State after accumulating 17 catches for 232 yards with the Spartans. He had 69 catches for 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games with the Orange.
Hayes came to Michigan State as a wide receiver, where he spent each season until being moved to safety right before the start of the 2021 campaign under the new coaching staff. Hayes is looking to move back to receiver at his next destination, which is where Syracuse wants to utilize his talents.
As a class of 2017 recruit out of South Warren High School in Kentucky, Hayes signed with Michigan State over offers from Purdue, Illinois, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina and several more. Hayes was originally committed to Purdue since the summer of 2016, but flipped to the Spartans right before National Signing Day. He was recruited to Michigan State by former Syracuse wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel.
After redshirting the 2017 season, Hayes had 14 catches for 154 yards over the next two seasons. He did not play in 2020 due to injury and played safety as well as special teams in 2021.
Hayes graduated as South Hayes High School's all-time leader in receptions (97), receiving yards (1,594), receiving touchdowns (27) and interceptions (10). During his senior season, he had 51 catches for 855 yards and 12 touchdowns. Hayes also accumulated five interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.
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