Pitt recruit Dayon Hayes a disruptive force for Westinghouse

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 | 7:47 PM


The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 23 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

One thing that stands out on Dayon Hayes’ junior highlight film is his quickness.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Westinghouse rising senior, who committed to Pitt last month, is a disruptive force from his defensive end spot. Opposing quarterbacks are often seen running for their lives on film.

Hayes had 26 sacks and 11 forced fumbles last season alone.

Hayes, one of 25 players selected for the Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team, has 26 Division I offers but choose Pitt over Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan State, Maryland, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, among others.

“I knew Pitt was it when they offered me back in January,” Hayes said. “I didn’t want to waste any more time. I am a Pitt Panther for life.

“Honestly, they were the most consistent in recruiting me. I also wanted to stay close to home for my family. They were also my first offer.”

Westinghouse coach Dontae Green, who was hired six weeks ago, was the Bulldogs defensive coordinator last season.

He said Hayes is a special player.

“He’s a leader on and off the field,” Green said. “He’s an honors student, and he has an eagerness to help others.”

Hayes keeps himself busy during the day.

He has a part-time job at Wendy’s and works out on the South Side with Dwayne Brown, who trains former Panther and Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald.

“Dayon has a great first step,” Green said. “He’s a great athlete and a better person. He’s a man among boys.”

Hayes said he has added strength and weight for his senior season. He has gone from playing at 215 to 240 pounds.

“I’ve worked harder than ever,” Hayes said. “Coach Green has us working in the weight room, and we have a different outlook this season as a team. We have a different approach and different attitude.”

Hayes said he has learned valuable lessons from Donald.

“He taught me a better get off,” Hayes said. “It’s a little different because he’s a tackle and I play end. I like to pattern my game after Von Miller (Denver Broncos) and Khalil Mack (Chicago Bears). I watch them a lot.”

Westinghouse made the state playoffs last season and defeated Somerset before falling to Bedford.

Hayes said his only goal is leading Westinghouse to a state title.

Dayon Hayes file

School: Westinghouse

Class: Senior

Ht/wt: 6-3, 240

Positions: OT/DE

Stars: three

Division I offers: Pitt, Ball State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Howard, Illinois, Indiana, Kent State, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Navy, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Texas A&M, Toledo, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia, William & Mary, Youngstown State and Wisconsin

2018 statistics: 26 quarterback sacks, 11 forced fumbles

Trib HSSN Preseason All-Stars

A.J. Beatty, Central Catholic

Fintan Brose, Hempfield

Tui Brown, Gateway

Michael Carmody, Mars

Josh Casilli, Peters Township

Johnny Crise, Highlands

Derrick Davis, Gateway

Daniel Deabner, Thomas Jefferson

Deamontae Diggs, McKeesport

Dorien Ford, Baldwin

Aaron Gunn, Union

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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