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OTTAWA — Dylan Hayes spent one season with the Marquette football team after transferring from Naperville Central High School.
He is now ready to go home as he signed Tuesday to be part of next season’s offensive line for North Central College.
“I grew up in Naperville, so I grew up watching their games,” said Hayes, who doesn’t know exactly which position he will fill on the Cardinals’ offensive line but was a left tackle for Marquette. “I was really excited when they were showing interest in me. They met everything that I wanted, so I decided to go there.”
The Cardinals met all of Hayes’ credentials, including not being far away from his family in Ottawa, having psychology as a major, he’s familiar with the area and NCC is the type of Division III program he wanted since it’s not too big and not too small.
Since he was already successful with one drastic football change, Hayes says the jump from Marquette to NCC shouldn’t be difficult.
“I’m pretty confident that in a few years I’ll figure out everything I need to know and then hopefully I’ll be starting,” Hayes said. “Freshman year, I’m just looking to get familiar with the system, learn the offense, get stronger and be ready to play.
“I know two offenses pretty well. They don’t run a Wing-T or anything like that, so I don’t think it should be too hard.”
Marquette coach Tom Jobst said the Cardinals are getting a very good football player who is a hard worker with a good skill set and a great attitude.
Jobst agrees with Hayes that if Hayes can make a transition such as jumping from one system to the next in high school he should be just fine in the college ranks.
“It speaks highly of his character,” Jobst said. “He came in in not only an entirely different system but style of play. I think at first it might have been a little confusing and frustrating, but I think he kept at it, didn’t hang dog, worked hard and picked it up very fast.
“In terms of meshing with the team, it was seamless. It was like he was here the whole time.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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