April 24, 2006

Hayes eyes playing time in 2006

Redshirt freshman linebacker Jerome Hayes came very close to playing in 2005, but the coaching staff ultimately decided to use Sean Lee instead because of his experience at outside linebacker. Now Hayes is back in the middle where he's most comfortable. Blue White Illustrated caught up with him after the scrimmage to get his thoughts on his progress this spring.

On his progress:
I've been trying to come along. It's been a crazy process going from the sam to the middle linebacker. Now I'm back at middle linebacker where I feel more comfortable. I'm trying to fulfill my role and try to make big plays out there.

On where he will fit in this fall:
Hopefully, I'm practicing well enough where they're looking at me and saying we have to get him on the field somewhere. If it comes down to playing special teams, I'll do whatever it takes. I'm just trying to play. I love the game. Wherever I fit in, that's where I'll go.

On how close he was to playing last season:
Going into the Northwestern week, it came down to either Sean or myself going into the game. Sean pretty much knew the outside linebacker position more than me and he was more comfortable and they felt more comfortable with Sean. They made the right decision because he did know the outside linebacker position better than me. He played very well.

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