OSU D-lineman Receives Release from Program
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State defensive lineman Kenny Hayes was not with the team that reported for the first day of fall camp early Friday morning.
Photo by Dan Harker
According to a University spokesperson, the second-year lineman out of Toledo Whitmer has asked for and received his release from the OSU football program. There is no indication yet where, or if, he intends to continue his playing career.
The 6-5, 285-pound Hayes was going to be a redshirt freshman with the Buckeyes this fall. He attended classes at Ohio State in the spring, but missed all of spring practice under new head coach Urban Meyer; reportedly because of recurring headaches.
A source close to the team told The-Ozone that Hayes may be done playing football altogether because of health concerns. Otherwise, he would be free to transfer wherever he so chooses.
Hayes was a member of Ohio State’s 2011 recruiting class, which also included fellow defensive linemen Michael Bennett, Steve Miller, Joel Hale and Chase Farris. Since arriving at Ohio State, offensive lineman Chris Carter has also switched over to the defensive side of the ball, but Farris was practicing with the offensive line on Friday.
As a senior at Whitmer High School in 2010, Hayes was all-state, all-Toledo City League, all-district and all-Blade. He recorded 47 tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss and seven sacks for the 12-2 Panthers.
He was named the district's defensive player of the year, and was also all-city in basketball. His younger brother, Nigel Hayes, was recently offered a scholarship by Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta. He also holds offers from Butler, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Even without Hayes and Farris, the Buckeyes still have 14 scholarship defensive linemen on the roster for 2012. Only three of them, John Simon, Nathan Williams and Garrett Goebel, will be seniors this year.
That means there are a lot of young players on the defensive front for coordinator Luke Fickell and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel. According to Simon, at least one of them had a tremendous offseason.
“Steve (Miller) may have had the best offseason out of anyone on our team,” Simon said last week in Chicago.
“I love Stevie. Just working with him every day, seeing his dedication and he never complains. I think he’s going to have a big season.”
Add to the mix a group of newcomers that includes Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt and Se’Von Pittman, and it’s easy to see Hayes was facing an uphill battle to get on the field, even if he was healthy enough to practice.
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