68 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Luke Hayes

With any luck, Luke Hayes will make more of an impact in his two or three seasons than his predecessor as No. 68, William Cooper, ever did in five years. - Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In which BracketCat counts down the 68th day until kickoff with a profile of offensive lineman Luke Hayes.


#68 Luke Hayes
True Junior
6-6 | 295
Scott City, Kan.


Position: Offensive Line

Previous College: Butler Community College

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Luke Hayes (b. Nov. 2, 1993) is an accomplished community college offensive tackle who will compete for one of the starting spots in 2014. He is a midyear signee who participated in Kansas State's spring practices.

Originally projected to replace Cornelius Lucas at left tackle, Hayes failed to make a significant splash in the spring game, in which he started at right guard for the White team. I'm hoping he at least can rise to starting right tackle.

Hayes played two seasons for national power Butler Community College under head coach Troy Morrell, helping the Grizzlies to finish sixth nationally in 2013 with a 9-2 record and second in 2012 with an 11-1 mark.

He earned 2013 second-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-America honors while also being named a first-team All-Jayhawk Conference performer.

Hayes ranks No. 14 nationally among incoming junior college offensive tackles by ESPN and was rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.

He prepped under head coach Glenn O'Neil at Scott City High School, helping the Beavers to win league and district championships in 2011 as they went 11-1.

Hayes played tight end in high school, catching 26 passes for 393 yards and two touchdowns over three seasons, including 15 receptions for 192 yards during his senior campaign. Watch his highlights here.

He attributes his late development as an offensive lineman to playing out of what would prove to be his natural position during his high school years, Hayes told GoPowercat.com late last year:

"I think (out of high school) it was the position I was playing," recalls the 6-foot-6 Butler County prospect.

"I tried tight end in high school and for a while I was set with that until the coaches here popped me in to trying tackle. I've just stuck with it from there."

He also characterized himself as a very physical blocker, which I think bodes well for our outside running game:

"I like being physical," continued the December graduate. "I consider myself a pretty good run blocker. I'm also very athletic which helps me carry out blocks into the next level."

Hayes chose K-State over offers from Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina State and West Virginia. He has three years to play two, so if he can't pick things up this season, there's still 2015 and 2016.

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