Photo: Adarius Hayes; Credit: Zach Goodall
The Florida Gators added a huge slice to their 2024 recruit class on Saturday by signing a four-star linebacker/edge rusher Adamius Hayes from Largo (Fla.) High.
Hayes is a prospect with a who’s who list of schools like Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Notre Dame vying for his services. With the size and versatility to play in multiple positions, it’s no wonder he’s so highly regarded.
Connect All Gators in the movie room to see what makes Hayes such a desirable prospect.
Before you even turn on the tape, the first thing that strikes you about Hayes is his frame while playing linebacker on the prep level. At 6ft 4 and 210 pounds, he has a collegiate frame as a high school junior when it comes to size and has excellent length.
Hayes’ potential for versatile positions is what makes him such an intriguing candidate. At such a size, most recruits play with their hand in the dirt solely rushing off the edge.
Not Hayes, he plays all of his reps from the middle linebacker position, which is where Florida sees him come on campus and play at an extremely high level. However, given his physique and athleticism, Hayes could well earn as an edge rusher in the Gators’ defense if the coaching staff sees fit.
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Hayes can fall into zone coverage while reading the quarterback’s eyes and make plays on the ball while he’s airborne. He trusts his vision and instincts when diagnosing what’s going on in front of him and that’s why he flies to football and plays consistently.
He shows great reach to get from sideline to sideline when running over ball carriers and when he gets to them he arrives with bad intentions. At his height, Hayes does a solid job lowering his pad level, keeping his feet under him and exploding through the tackle.
Hayes is also an excellent blitzer, lending credence to the possibility of knocking him off course in partial packs, showing good timing while camouflaging his eagerness and routinely converting speed into power very quickly. He thins through the rush gap to meet running backs at the point of attack and even shoots straight down the offensive line to regularly play in the backfield for sacks and tackles for losses.
Hayes finished his junior season with an impressive 121 tackles, including 14 for losses and two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns.
Check out Hayes’ latest highlights below.
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