D’Marcus Hayes has signed his papers.
The 6-foot-6, 321-pounder from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College visited Georgia over the weekend, committed on Monday and signed his letter of intent to play for Kirby Smart on Wednesday.
The newest Bulldog is rated as the nation’s No. 3 junior college offensive tackle for the Class of 2017. He’s also picked up his fourth star since he chose Georgia.
UGA released an edit of Hayes to announce that his signing was official. (UGA football / Twitter)
Hayes is seen as a significant addition because he can be a plug-and-play option at Georgia. The Bulldogs will exhaust the eligibility of their two starting offensive tackles after the Liberty Bowl.
The Mississippi native added his fourth star but has also dropped one slot to No. 3 in the overall junior college ratings for his position.
That reflects the composite ranking for Hayes across all the recruiting services.
It is worth nothing that Hayes will enroll in January.
That will give him plenty of time to develop in the strength and conditioning program. He will also go through spring practice with offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
Chad Huff — the head coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast — think Hayes can play left tackle.
“He has the footwork and athleticism to be a left tackle right away,” Huff said. “He needs to continue to build on his upper-body strength and continue to develop every day. He knows that. He’s got the potential to be a really good left tackle.”
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He also relayed what the Bulldogs told him they see in Hayes.
“They like his overall athleticism,” Huff said. “They also bring up his potential and feel his best football is still ahead of him. They tell me they just don’t see kids like that with the athleticism that he has.”
That’s good stuff. But that’s what any coach might say about their guy.
Want to hear an unbiased opinion? DawgNation asked a scout with extensive experience working with elite offensive line prospects to break him down.
“This young man can move,” the scout told DawgNation. “His footwork is awesome. Pass set. Climbing to the next level. Reach block. He does it all. When he throws his hands, he means business, too.”
That scout noted that Hayes was really comfortable with his body despite his size. He also liked the way he uses his hips.
“His footwork is something else,” the scout noted. “He catches a reach block on the ‘1’ technique on a zone right play that will make your heart smile.”
The overall impression was that Hayes can play right away.
“I think once UGA gets him his body will change,” he said. “Drop some bad weight and gain some good. His frame though can handle it. … The speed of the game (in the SEC) but he has the skill-set to overcome that.”