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Dayon Hayes: The Unquestioned Leader of Pitt’s Class of 2020



Someone can’t be taught how to be a leader, you either have those qualities or you don’t. Some players lead by their actions on the field and others do it with their actions off of it.

For anyone that’s been paying attention, future Pitt defensive end Dayon Hayes does both those, which is one of the many reasons Pat Narduzzi and his staff are counting the days until they officially get Hayes in a Panther uniform.

From the minute he committed to Pitt, Hayes has acted as an unofficial recruiter for the program, whether it be tweeting about their positive accomplishments on the field or send tweets to high school players that receive an offer from Pitt.

This isn’t something that Narduzzi or his assistants have asked Hayes to do, he’s done it on his own because that’s what leaders do.

”I’ve been doing that because I want everyone to come here,” Hayes told PSN. “This isn’t like at Ohio State where they get all the best players no matter what. I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help Pitt. I’ll do whatever I can to help get good players here.

”My whole life, I’ve always tried to act like a leader. That’s not something someone has to ask me to do. People around me just know it and I always want to be a mentor to younger players and lead the team I’m apart of.”

Hayes was Narduzzi’s top recruiting target last year and could’ve gone to programs such as Ohio State, Penn State and other but choose to stay home. Hayes is a Pittsburgh kid and winning at Pitt means more to him than it does to most players.

“I think this is more important to me because I’m from Pittsburgh,” said Hayes. “This is my city and I want to represent it. I want Pitt football to be the best that it can possibly be. I want Pitt to be great so that be can be a consistent great program like Ohio State. I want to be the person, the class that led to Pitt being great. I know that up be great you need to recruit great players so I’m trying to help with that.”

The biggest message that he wants to get across is that Pitt isn’t necessarily just like everywhere else.

”I feel that when you get here, Pitt doesn’t have any two-faced people,” Hayes said. “The energy is just so high. When I was getting recruited there, they still treat me the same even after I signed. They always call me, text me. Pitt is a real family and it’s for real, nothing fake. Everyone wants to be great.”

Speaking of great, Hayes is just waiting anxiously till August when he officially puts on the Pitt uniform for the first time because he has no doubt that greatness is in his future.

”I honestly can’t wait,” Hayes said. “I’m just so excited, a little nervous but just can’t wait to adapt to college life. I can’t wait to get there and see what I have to do to get better and buy into the Pitt program. I just see myself being so successful at Pitt. It’s crazy because I can honestly just see myself going from there to the NFL. I don’t see anything else and that’s why Pitt is perfect for me.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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LuAnn Bair
4 years ago

Another great player and surely a hometown hero! These are the guys that will continually make Pitt great again! It’s so wonderful to hear guys talk like this and to see and feel their desire to be great and help bring Pitt back to championship caliber again! Thanks Dayon can’t wait to cheer you on!

4 years ago

Thank you, Dayon. You’re coming into the most talented and fierce group of upperclassmen in recent memory. Don’t expect to play or start this year. Charlie Partridge will make you a better player. Patience.

4 years ago

H2P!!! Make Pitt GREAT again!!!

Terrence Otoole
4 years ago

I love this story, hoping donald,ford, and mcmillan follow his and nakki Johnson’s lead we need more guys like these 2

Joseph Steigerwald
4 years ago

Thanks Terrence. Appreciate the support.


[…] Dayon Hayes: The Unquestioned Leader of Pitt’s Class of 2020 […]


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