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The Cardinal Countdown: 33 Days Until Kickoff

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Charlotte v Louisville Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

#33 Isaiah Hayes

Class: Grad Transfer

Ht/Wt: 6-1/190

Position: Safety

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Twitter: @Hayes_Era30

Thoughts: Isaiah Hayes is the most recent addition to the Cards roster, officially being added to the fold just a few weeks ago back on July 11th. Hayes is another Grad Transfer coming to UofL via Arizona (shout out Bibby/Simon combo). Reports indicate that Hayes was on board a few months back but had to finish up some course work to officially qualify as a grad transfer before he could take the eastbound flight to Louisville. Now that’s he’s here and eligible to play, he should be a great addition to a group that’s needing bodies.

Hayes has the reputation as a big hitter and as a true freshman at Zona he made an impact with 38 tackles, appearing in eleven games. If there is an area of concern with Hayes it’s his health. Nursing a shoulder injury out of high school Hayes has re-aggravated that injury a couple times now and it’s forced him to miss a good chunk of playing time since starting college, including all of 2017 and half of 2018. After taking a redshirt Hayes still has two full seasons of eligibility as a Grad transfer, which is rare, but in order to take advantage of that time the Cards staff and Hayes will need to take care of his body as well. In reading a few quotes from Hayes I found it cool just how excited he is to play in the ACC. I know locally we were over the moon about joining the conference but nationally it has earned even more respect with the recent success of Clemson and others. Hayes told Jody Demling of ‘The Cardinal Authority’:

“I was impressed at how nice the stadium was and seeing the amazing facilities and the nutrition and strength and conditioning programs and the coaching philosophies. And not to knock anybody in the Pac-12 or any Arizona coaches - they are all talented and great at what they do - but it’s definitely different going to the ACC and somewhere out of state and totally different. It’s going to be fun.”

Many, myself included, expect Isaiah to compete for a starting spot back at safety. Heading into the Fall I think the veteran Khane Pass has the upper hand but Hayes should certainly add some competition into the mix. If you want some ‘on the field’ looks at Hayes there is plenty of video out there but I really enjoyed just listening to the young man speak around this time last year to ‘AZ Desert Swarm’ after having to sit out a season due to injury. He’s got a great outlook on life and sounds like a great foundation around him. Glad to have him here as a contributor and a leader.

Sweet Tweet:

Footwork, footwork, flip the hips, footwork, footwork. Checkmate.