Luke Hayes plays his junior college football at Kansas' Butler County Community College. Before that, he was a standout at Scott City (Kan.) High School. He's as much a Kansan as Auntie Em or the world's largest ball of twine.
Hayes holds scholarship offers from both Kansas and Kansas State among others. But the in-state schools shouldn't expect some kind of hometown nod. Instead, they'll get the opposite. The staffs at KU and K-State will have to work to keep Hayes home next season. Wanderlust is starting to take hold, and the allure of a scenery change is strong.
"I actually kind of want to get out of the state," Hayes said on Monday. "But I'm not too sure yet. That's just what I'm thinking now."
Of the schools that have offered to this point, Hayes says he hears from K-State and Arizona the most. Aside from offering the whole "not in Kansas" aspect Scott seems to be searching for, Rich Rodriguez's Tucson-based program has caught the three-star prospect's eye with other pitches.
"At Arizona, I can come in and compete for a starting job for them," Hayes said. "They are kind of a newer staff there. This is their second year. The fans are pretty excited about what they did last year because it was the first time they made a bowl game in quite a while."
K-State, however, is not sitting idle while Arizona scoops up one of its native targets. Bill Snyder's staff is combatting the Grand Canyon State's excitement with a sense of familiarity. Ask Hayes which staff has built the strongest relationship to this point, and he gives a direct answer.
It's the main reason K-State is still in the running. It certainly has nothing to do with geography.
"Best relationship right now would probably be K-State because I talked to them a little in high school," Hayes said. "I already know Coach (Charlie) Dickey. I know their recruiting guy, too. His dad is actually our D-line coach at Butler. As far as being most comfortable with the coaches, it's K-State because I already knew them before."
While K-State and Arizona are in most frequent contact with Hayes, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and N.C State are also starting to apply the press. Michigan State and Arizona State are in the early stages of the process but have yet to offer a scholarship.
With new interest coming in steadily and schools continuing to make pitches, Hayes says he is in no hurry to end his recruitment. He doesn't intend to make a verbal commitment until after the upcoming season.
"I'm just keeping my options open right now," he said. "I haven't even thought about visits yet. I'll probably have that decision made around mid October, as far on which schools I want to visit."