GopherSports.com will be posting interviews with many of the newest Gophers from the 2012 signing class throughout the remainder of the spring and summer. The next Gopher to be featured in our series is Isaac Hayes, an offensive lineman from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
Isaac Hayes, a high-school standout from St. Thomas Academy, signed his letter of intent with the Gophers as an offensive lineman. An ESPN Top150 recruit, Hayes earned all-state, all-conference, and all-metro honors during his high school football career, and with the help of his leadership, St. Thomas Academy accumulated a 20-2 record over the past two seasons.
Hayes has been touted for his ability to explode off the ball and finish blocks, and, measuring in at 6-2 and 275 pounds, has the size and athleticism characteristic of a college-level interior lineman. Rivals.com and Scout.com ranked Hayes as a three-star recruit, while ESPN gave him four stars.
Gophersports.com: Why Minnesota?
Isaac Hayes: I chose Minnesota because I will be able to play in front of family and friends, and I like the coaches a lot. The Big Ten, I think, is one of the most competitive conferences in the country, so I couldn't pass that up. I've been watching the Gophers ever since I was little, and I want to get [the program] turned around.
Gophersports.com: When did you know you wanted to be a Gopher, and what was the experience like when you informed the coaches you'd be coming to Minnesota?
Isaac Hayes: I knew that I wanted to be a Gopher when I went to a spring practice and it was a really nice day outside in [TCF Bank] the stadium. I just realized that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play in my home state with these great facilities. When I informed the coaches that I would be coming to Minnesota, Coach Kill jumped on me, and he and Coach Limegrover were really excited.
Gophersports.com: What are your thoughts on the new Gopher uniforms?
Isaac Hayes: I like them a lot. I like all of the symbolism in them and I like that they look a little bit old school.
Gophersports.com: What are you most looking forward to when you move to campus?
Isaac Hayes: I'm looking forward to getting closer to my teammates and starting to get to work.
Gophersports.com: Any idea what you'd like to major in?
Isaac Hayes: I hope to major in some kind of engineering.
Gophersports.com: What are your goals for next season?
Isaac Hayes: My goals are to get my technique down and just work as hard as I can.
Gophersports.com: What are your goals for your collegiate career at the U?
Isaac Hayes: I would say my goals are to just become the best player that I can be. Also, I think every college football player has the goal to play in the NFL.
Gophersports.com: Do you have a specific athlete you look up to?
Isaac Hayes: I would say I look up to Matt Birk and the way that he plays.
Gophersports.com: What music do you listen to before games to get pumped up?
Isaac Hayes: I listen to mostly rap before games.
Gophersports.com: What does it mean to you to be able to stay home and be a part of this program?
Isaac Hayes: It means a lot. I've seen the Gophers when they have been a pretty good team, so I want to get back to that and be on top of the Big Ten.
Gophersports.com: Were any of the new commits a big part of your decision to stay in-state?
Isaac Hayes: Well, just looking at the talent that we have coming in and how many in-state kids that we have was a big part of my decision.
Gophersports.com: You're definitely a fan favorite offensive line recruit. Who are you excited to work with on the current line?
Isaac Hayes: I
played against Tommy Olson in high school, so I'm kind-of excited to be on his
side for the next few years.
-Interview by Student Assistant Kirsten Sherwood