Peter Hayes, the 8th-grade brother of 2015 Orlando Timber Creek running back Jacques Patrick, was offered his first two scholarships by FSU and Ohio State tonight (Aug. 21). (CHRIS HAYS / ORLANDO SENTINEL / August 21, 2014)
Peter Hayes-Patrick-Patrick is an eighth-grader at Orlando Avalon Middle School. He’s an A-B student with a kind, soft-spoken demeanor and has a zest for football. He plays it as well as anyone his age. This has already attracted attention from college football coaches.
The 5-foot-9 ½, 175-pound 14-year-old is also the younger brother of Orlando Timber Creek senior running back Jacques Patrick, one of the most recruited senior running backs in the country for the Class of 2015.
He was extended verbal football scholarship offers, through his brother, from Ohio State and Florida State this past week, starting what will undoubtedly be an extensive and well publicized recruiting process for the young star. It already has been for his brothers, the oldest of which, Javonte Seabury, is a freshman receiver at Western Michigan.
There are plenty of people who think eighth grade is far too early for a youngster to be receiving a college football scholarship offer. Hayes-Patrick, and many like him, however, sees no problem with it. The gifted young star with the laid-back personality just rolls with the flow. He said he didn’t really have a timetable for when to expect his first offer.
“Just whenever God wanted to bless me with one,” Hayes-Patrick said. “I think it’s great. It makes me feel proud. It’s a great opportunity.”
His brother is obviously proud of him. The two are quite close. In fact, Patrick said he will announce his college decision on the date of his younger brother’s 15thbirthday, Oct. 27.
“I think it’s real cool for him. He’s blessed at a young age. He’s in eighth grade so I don’t even talk to him about recruiting. He’s not even in high school yet, so he doesn’t even have to worry about that for another year or two,” said Jacques Patrick, who is ranked as the No. 2 running back in the country according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
“I just try to help him become a better football player … but also a better person and a better student, every day. Those are the main things that he needs to focus on right now.”
Hayes-Patrick goes to Timber Creek practices whenever he can.
“He helps me a lot,” Hayes-Patrick said of Patrick. “When I go to his practices, I’m always watching him to see what he does and stuff.”
He plays both quarterback and running back in Pop Warner, but wants to be a running back when he starts high school next year at Timber Creek. He’ll wear the same uniform, but Hayes-Patrick is not looking to follow in the footsteps of either of his brothers.
“I want to create my own path,” he said. “I’m just as good as Jacques.”
Hayes-Patrick obviously has the talent. He has high expectations for himself. He wants to be better than either of his older brothers. He’s already off and running this year. Hayes-Patrick had more than 100 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns for the Avalon Wolves in a 42-0 Pop Warner rout of Umatilla on Saturday.
He’s gotten plenty of attention since receiving the verbal scholarship offers. His classmates shower him with praise, but now he’s been cast into the national spotlight.
“They tell me congratulations and that they saw me on TV and stuff like that,” Hayes-Patrick said. “But it’s no pressure. I’m not focused on recruiting. I’m just in middle school. When I get to high school, that’s when I’ll start focusing on it.”
Right now he’s only concerned with the present.
“I’m just focused on winning the Pop Warner championship,” he said.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting, and on Instagram at os_recruiting.