The Nebraska football team landed commitment No. 5 on Thursday for the class of 2022 from Reno (Nev.) McQueen running back Ashton Hayes.
Here are some quick thoughts and takes on what the commitment of Hayes means for the Huskers.
1. The first thing that really jumps out about Hayes is versatility. He’s closer to a Maurice Washington or Wan’Dale Robinson type player than a traditional running back. He is a true all-purpose weapon.
2. Hayes was a relatively new name on the Nebraska football recruiting scene. He’s pretty low profile and not currently even on Twitter. Most Husker fans didn’t know much about him until a week ago, but his resume speaks for itself. As a sophomore, he led the state of Nevada in rushing with over 2,400 yards in Class 4A.
3. Nebraska sees Hayes as a speed back and a guy that can be split out.
4. Hayes did not waste any time coming to a decision after Sunday. He knows the numbers situation at NU and he clearly wanted to jump on the spot. He also visited Cal earlier this month, so it was a head-to-head win for the Huskers against the closest Pac-12 school to his hometown of Reno.
5. With that said, does the commitment of Hayes do anything with four-star Dallas (Ga.) running back Justin Williams status? Or will NU recruit Williams as a more power back and Hayes as a combo guy that can play running back and wide receiver? Right now it appears the Huskers could be done at running back and Hayes got the lone spot.
6. Hayes becomes the first Nevada high school football player to commit to Nebraska since wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey in 2017. Before that, long-snapper Jordan Ober (2015), offensive lineman Nick Gates (2014) and offensive lineman Mike Smith (2006) also came from the state of Nevada to Lincoln.
7. Will Hayes be the start of a big commit run over the next week? It sure feels that way. NU has brought in 14 visitors now over two weeks, and three have committed.
2022 commitment breakdown
1. 3/7/2021 – Ernest Hausmann– LB – 6-foot-3, 210 – Columbus, NE – 3 Stars
2. 4/1/2021 – Victor Jones – WR – 6-foot-2, 190 – Orlando, FL – 3 Stars
3. 6/7/2021 – Chase Androff – TE – 6-foot-6, 230 – Southlake, MN – 3 Stars
4. 6/14/2021 – Richard Torres – QB – 6-foot-6, 211 – San Antonio, TX – 3 Stars
5. 6/17/2021 – Ashton Hayes – RB – 5-foot-11, 180 – Reno, NV – 3 Stars
2022 commit breakdown by position
1 – Quarterback
1 – Running back
1 – Wide receiver
1 – Tight end
0 – Offensive linemen
0 – Defensive tackle
0 – Defensive end
0 – Outside linebacker
1 – Inside linebacker
0 – Safety
0 – Cornerback
0 – Athlete
0 – Special teams
10. Where are they from?
1 – Florida
1 – Minnesota
1 – Nebraska
1 – Nevada
1 – Texas