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23 Days to Purdue Football: Josh Hayes

The sophomore from Indy started strong last year, but faded.

NCAA Football: Eastern Kentucky at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Darrell Hazell did not recruit the state of Indiana well, but he did get a handful of guys. One of them is today’s featured player.

Josh Hayes – So.

Indianapolis, IN (Pike HS)

6’, 185 pounds

Cornerback

2017 Projection: Possible contributor at cornerback

Last season it looked like Hayes was going to have a breakout season. He played immediately as a true freshman at cornerback and even had an interception early on, but he ended up playing in only 9 games with 13 tackles. His pick came in the season opener against Eastern Kentucky:

The biggest moment came in the fourth quarter, when Hayes' interception of Maty Mauk effectively sealed the victory. Now the confidence — both inside Hayes and among the Boilermakers — is growing.

"The No. 1 thing that Josh shows us is that he's a competitor," Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said. "Everything that he does he's trying to win the drill. That's where it all starts with him. He's very talented, in terms of quickness, ball skills, all those things that you want to see in a young defensive back.

Hayes needs to show that confidence going forward. He can earn a starting job this year alongside Da’Wan Hunte, but he will have to prove it.