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PSU’s Hayes eschews sixth year for NFL

Yesterday, North Carolina State running back Toney Baker announced that he was leaving for the NFL even after being granted a sixth year of eligibility.

Today, a player who was eligible for a sixth year not only decided to forego the medical bonus, but decided to not even apply for the benefit.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, starting defensive end Jerome Hayes has decided to make himself available for the 2010 NFL draft. Hayes suffered season-ending injuries in 2007 and 2008, and would likely have been granted a sixth season if he had petitioned the NCAA.

At least one person connected to Hayes seems to think that’s the course the lineman should’ve taken.

“I wanted him to stay another year, let that leg heal and make an impact next season, but Jerome’s heart is not into it and he’s ready to move on,” Hayes’ high school coach, Rick Rodriguez told the Post-Gazette. “Five years of college is enough for him.”

Hayes has already graduated from Penn State -- he received a degree in journalism last year -- and he has an 18-month-old son to consider as well.