FARGO - North Dakota State's search for a quarterback in its latest recruiting class ended in the Land of Lincoln Monday night.
St. Charles East (IL) senior to be Nathan Hayes committed to the Bison on Monday, confirming the news on Twitter. "I have followed the Bison for years and just kept seeing them win and always wondered why they have all that success." Hayes told Dom Izzo Monday night.
"I knew exactly why when I was at camp. The coaches taught me a tremendous amount about football and about being a great man."
Hayes was in Fargo in late June for NDSU's individual camp. He received an offer last week. Hayes was also offered by Indiana State and Eastern Illinois, but said the city of Fargo really sold him on where he wanted to go to school.
"The facilities and school are amazing but the people and town of Fargo made it seem like it could be my home."
Hayes' junior season stats were not available on Monday night but in 2019 as a sophomore, Hayes completed 92 of 182 passes for 1,357 yards and 12 touchdowns with 10 interceptions during the regular season, leading the Saints (7-4) to the playoffs.
Hayes will join his current teammate Kelton McCaslin in Fargo next year. McCaslin is a 6-5, 210 pound defensive end recruit for the Bison. St. Charles East was winless during the spring (Illinois high school football was played in March and April), but is a prime recruiting area for NDSU defensive coordinator David Braun.
Braun initially reached out to Hayes in September when the recruiting period opened for 2022 prospects.
Hayes will join a quarterback room that has another Illinois native in Quincy Patterson II, who hails from Chicago. Cam Miller and Cole Payton are also quarterbacks on the roster. NDSU usually recruits one quarterback during each cycle.
Hayes also is a standout in baseball, where his fastball has been clocked in the low 90's range. But his love of football won out over the last 12 months. "I love football. That decision happened earlier this year, I fell in love with the work going on in football. I had a chance to train for football and for baseball, I fell in love with the training."
Hayes becomes the 12th commit for the Class of 2022.