Ian Haynes has all the tools that coaches look for in a Division-I prospect. Now, the junior quarterback is just being patient and playing the waiting game.
While he waits, Haynes, who from Franklin, Pa. in Venango County, has decided to join the Pitt City Elite 7v7 program in order to work on certain things and also to receive some more visibility from college coaches.
“Definitely the biggest strength of my game is my ability to throw the ball,” Haynes said to Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I believe I’m pretty confident that I can make any throw. My biggest weakness and something that I’m working on is my speed. I’m probably not as fast as I should be.
“I decided to come play with Pitt City Elite to really try and get some exposure. Coach [Melvin] Kirby invited me down and I definitely was interested in coming down to join them and play. I believe that it can help and I’m just trying to get an offer.”
— Ian Haynes (@haynes___1) January 28, 2019
For the players that already have offers, this is a fun time because they’re waiting to see who becomes interested and offers them next. For the players that are waiting for that first one to come in, it can be tough.
“I’m trying to enjoy everything and am just waiting for more letters and phone calls to come in,” said Haynes. “People are me are just telling me to just relax and you’ll eventually see what schools fit you best. That first offer will mean the world to me. Everything I’ve done to this point is in order to get that offer.”
Haynes (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) said that he receives letters weekly from Cincinnati and Kentucky plus some Division II schools
— Pgh Sports Now (@PghSportsNow) February 1, 2019
Shawn Rutherford, cousins to former Perry and Pitt great Rod Rutherford, is Pitt City’s quarterbacks coach.
“Ian is definitely a D-I quarterback,” said Rutherford. “He needs a little work but he has great vision, his accuracy and his timing on the ball is really good. He’s come in and is working with new players which can sometimes be difficult but he’s making all the proper reads and all the right throws. He’s a very intelligent quarterback with a ton of potential. Whatever coach and program that gets him will be very glad to have him.
“He definitely has a D-I arm but he’s a high school kid so there’s always things that he can work on to improve and that’s what this Elite 7v7 team will focus on. To me as a coach, I have a son right now that’s in college and that I personally worked with and groomed so I know what college coaches are looking for. Ian is right there, he’s a step away from being a big-time quarterback.”
With his background in working with quarterbacks, what is Rutherford going to work on with Haynes while he’s with Pitt City Elite?
“Not really anything major,” said Rutherford. “I’m just going to tweak the basic fundamentals. A lot of kids once they get older seem to forget about those and the basic fundamentals of being a quarterback.”
While working with him on the field, Rutherford and head coach Melvin Kirby will also offer encouragement to Haynes and the other players to not stress about college offers. Having gone through recruiting themselves, they know this is the time to keep working and not to be worrying.
“I know what they’re going through,” said Rutherford, “It happened with my son. This 7v7 team is the best atmosphere for him. My son was in that same situation. With his first appearance with a 7v7 team, by the team we where finished playing his first game, that night he got this first college call for an offer. After he got that, all the anxiety and the pressure stopped. He then gained a bunch of confidence in himself and it carried over to his senior year in the City League.”