You know that old saying “blood is thicker than water?” It applies to all facets of life; love, war, business, etc. But rarely does the phrase ever apply to college football recruitment.
Well, until now.
On Monday, Wayne Hills High School junior wide receiver and defensive back Jaaron Hayek announced his commitment to the 2019 Rutgers football class. Hayek is the third member of his family to join the Scarlet Knights over the past few years, along with his two older brothers, Hunter and Tyler.
Jaaron had received his offer from Rutgers back in late April, along with other recruiting offers from Penn State, South Carolina, and Syracuse, just to name a few.
“(Coach Demikoff) pulled me out [from the game] and just told me that (Rutgers) offered me a full scholarship,” Hayek told NJ.com. “At first, I really didn’t believe him, so I was pretty shocked.”
Just like his brothers, Jaaron is an athletic phenomenon for Wayne Hills, playing primarily wide receiver, while also dabbling in defensive back and kick/punt returner.
A 6’1, 185-pounder, Jaaron, like many of Rutgers’ 2018 recruits, is as versatile as they come. While on offense he focuses on mainly playing receiver, Jaaron says that he can play anything on defense; whether as a nickel back, linebacker, corner, or a safety, he can play it all and well.
Observing his tape on hudl.com, Jaaron plays offense with a defensive mindset; ready to take a hit and punish anyone that gets in his way. Jaaron is a physical receiver. While he is not very tall, he has shown to fight for contested balls, often dominating whatever poor defensive player is assigned to cover him.
As a ball carrier, Jaaron is not as fluid-in-motion as most other ball carriers. His spin moves and jukes aren’t exactly “stopping on a dime”-type quality. But what he lacks in agility, he makes up for in strength. Instead of avoiding defenders, he approaches them head-on. His stiff arm is deadly, he is able to drag would-be tacklers for extra yardage, and defenders are scared to tackle him when he puts his head down to truck them. Essentially, he is a power back playing receiver, ala Hines Ward.
Jaaron is also an accomplished track star, as, according to NJ.com, he is able to run the 100, 200, and 4×100 meter runs. This shows he has got great speed, especially when he breaks loose from a tackle, along with an incredible level of endurance and stamina that can keep him fresh on the field for the whole game.
Jaaron has said that he hopes to be able to one day line up on the field of Highpoint Solutions stadium, alongside his brothers.
Imagine this; Rutgers comes out in a three-wide receiver set, with all three receivers sharing the name “Hayek” on their backs. With all three brothers playing for the Scarlet Knights, and each brother is a proven playmaker, head coach Chris Ash, and offensive coordinator Jerry Kill, are going to have a lot of fun game planning with these guys.
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