When Nigel Hayes burst onto the scene as a high-major recruit a couple of years ago, most signs pointed to Ohio State being the favorite if the Buckeyes ever offered. After all, Hayes is an in-state prospect, grew up as a fan of Ohio State, and was the younger brother of former Buckeyes' football player Kenny Hayes (who recently left the program).
The Buckeyes offered Hayes over the summer, though – and he didn't commit. In fact, Hayes took his time going through the process. Ohio State was a serious player, but Wisconsin never wavered in its pursuit of Hayes.
And on Sunday night, the Badgers' hard work paid off, as Hayes committed to Bo Ryan and Wisconsin. He chose the Badgers over Ohio State, with Stanford and Minnesota getting cut from his list earlier this month.
Hayes, a 6-foot-8 forward from Whitmer (Ohio), is a solid prospect who is continuing to get better. He has a good skillset for Wisconsin's system, as he has a high basketball IQ and can makes plays inside and outside. Hayes has a decent face-up jumper, but can also score with his back to the basket.
Wisconsin now has a very solid five-man recruiting class. The group is anchored by top-100 guard Bronson Koenig, with Ohio native Vitto Brown, Riley Dearring and Jordan Hill rounding out the quintet.