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Pitt football lands 3-star offensive lineman from Michigan

| Monday, April 29, 2013, 3:09 p.m.

The long-term reconstruction of the Pitt offensive line continued Monday when Connor Hayes of Traverse City, Mich., said he will enroll next year.

Hayes, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound guard, is the only recruit in Pitt's Class of 2014 after Blackhawk quarterback Chandler Kincade decommitted last month.

Hayes is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, and he chose Pitt over offers from Duke, Indiana, Syracuse, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Toledo.

He said Pitt was the best fit for him.

“They have a power offense, and they are looking for tough, hard-working guys who play to the whistle,” he said. “I feel that's me.”

Pitt coach Paul Chryst hopes Hayes will add depth to future lines, something it has been without the past two seasons. Of the 15 offensive linemen expected to be on the roster this summer, three are seniors and only one of those is a starter.

“(Hayes is) the most physical player I have ever coached,” Traverse City West coach Tim Wooer said. “He will fit in perfectly into everything Pittsburgh wants to do.

“If you look up the definition of the word mauler in the dictionary, you would probably find a picture of Connor. He is a physical, nasty kid. He is going to try to embarrass you.”

A three-year starter, Hayes was one of only four freshmen to play on the Traverse City varsity team during the past 20 years, Wooer said.

Traverse City plays in the largest classification in Michigan. “And (Hayes) will be better than anybody we see,” the coach said.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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