Matt Luke and his staff have heard all year about the whiffs in-state in the 2019 class. There were big-time impact guys all over the Magnolia State and Ole Miss just simply couldn’t close on them.
Well, message received.
Four-star defensive tackle Josaih Hayes out of Horn Lake, Miss. has decided to commit to the Rebels after camping in Oxford over the weekend. The big fella from DeSoto County chose to join #SharkSea20n over notable offers from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee, and Oregon among others.
Hayes was a huge part of the Eagles’ 2018 defense, leading them to a perfect 15-0 record and 6A Mississippi state title. The newest Rebel fought through countless double and triple-teams to gather 48 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and five sacks for Horn Lake and will aim to be as disruptive once he gets on campus in Oxford.
You also have to think that this eases a little bit of the staff’s pain after losing on five-star Nakobe Dean and four-star Raydarious Jones in the 2019 class. They can only hope that Hayes’ commitment could have a positive affect on his teammate, Jakivuan Brown, who is a three-star linebacker prospect.
The No. 20 defensive tackle in the country and top-five Magnolia State product is a huge domino to fall not only in-state, but in the 2020 class in general. The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs have been hot on the Hayes’ trail early in the recruiting process and you know you’re doing something right if they want a defender, too.
Hayes will sign early but as of now won’t be graduating early.
How does he fit in?
To say the 6’3, 296-pounder will be a welcomed addition to the 2020 class is putting it mildly. The Rebels will be looking to replace mainstays in the trenches like Benito Jones and Josiah Coatney so Hayes joining the 2020 class now will hopefully lead to him being a cornerstone for Mike MacIntyre’s revamped 3-4 defense in the coming years.
Josaih has the ideal frame for a defensive tackle OR a strong-side defensive end with his explosive quickness and violent hands. He plays with impressive leverage and utilizes proper hand technique in order to shed blockers and fend off double teams to make plays at and/or behind the line of scrimmage.
His long frame and reach allows him to stand tall at the point of attack, assess the play, and get lateral to make the stop. And because of this, he could potentially slide to the outside and be a defensive end for MacIntyre.
He has a relentless motor and a get off that will give him an advantage against almost anyone he lines up against in the Southeastern Conference. Look for him to be an explosive defender in 2020 and beyond for Mike MacIntyre and the Landshark defense.