Name: Ryan Hayes
Weight: 262 lbs.
High school: Traverse City (MI) West
Position: Tight end
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Hayes was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 24 catches for 515 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 26 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.
Hayes comes from a very athletic family. His mom and dad played basketball and football at Central Michigan, respectively, and his older brother Connor played football at Pitt. I guess those are the genes that produce 6’7″, 262 lb. kids who are athletic enough to maybe play tight end in college, when those kids are normally pegged for offensive tackle early on. Hayes was recruited to Michigan by offensive tackles/tight ends coach Greg Frey, even though Frey moved on to Florida State as their offensive line coach.
The outlook for Hayes this season could swing wildly. He could redshirt, or he could play a ton, particularly as a blocking tight end. I think Hayes is an excellent blocker coming out of high school, and that’s a skill that many of the current tight ends at Michigan have struggled to master. I believe he will eventually be molded into an offensive tackle, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him to be Michigan’s best blocking tight end by season’s end. Even so, I don’t think his presence is necessary for Michigan to have a successful season, and there are a lot of options at tight end, so he’s relatively low in the countdown.
Prediction: Backup tight end