By his own admission growing up Hayes was a major fan of Ohio State. When the Buckeyes offered many expected him to quickly don the Scarlet and Gray, but that didn't happen. Instead Hayes took serious visits to Stanford, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin before eventually deciding on the Badgers.
Hayes confirmed his decision, and in simple terms stated, "They love me."
At 6-foot-8 Hayes is an athletic forward with some skill to be able to play on the perimeter and sees himself in the future being able to play both on the wing and in the high post.
During July with All-Ohio Red, Hayes really stepped up his game and went from mostly mid-level interest to a top target for numerous Big Ten schools, and at the end of the day the work put in by the Badgers paid off with a commitment.