New Power 4 team circling 2025 Penn State running back commit

Tiqwai Hayes was named Mr. Pennsylvania in 2023 and is a keep commit in Penn State's 2025 high school recruiting class, but his commitment isn't deterring other Power 4 teams from looking to pry him away from Happy Valley.
Aliquippa's Tiqwai Hayes (23)
Aliquippa's Tiqwai Hayes (23) / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

James Franklin always says that the best in PA stay in PA. While that hasn’t necessarily been true the past few years, the best running backs do typically play for their in-state team. In September of 2023, Tiqwai Hayes, a 2025 four-star from Aliquippa and Mr. PA football, announced that he would would be heading to Happy Valley. 

However, Hayes’s commitment to Penn State has not quelled the immense interest in his talents from all across the country. On Wednesday, Hayes announced on his social media that he had received an offer from Stanford. The Stanford Cardinal may be breaking into new recruiting grounds after a move from the Pac-12 to the ACC will bring the team to the East Coast far more often. 

Hayes could be wise to keep his options open because unsurprisingly, Penn State is loaded at running back and James Franklin has already received commitments from two other backs in the 2025 class along with Hayes, four-stars Kiandrea Barker from Arkansas, and Alvin Henderson from Alabama. The 2024 class also brought plenty of talented ball-carriers to Penn State with Quinton Martin and Cam Wallace already impressing this spring and likely waging a battle for third-string snaps behind Kaytron Allen and Nick Singelton. 

It could be difficult to convince Hayes to stay committed, especially with Barker and Henderson both being more highly rated by 247 Sports. Even with a crowded running back room, Franklin should prioritize Hayes to keep the pipeline of Western PA/WPIAL talent, like Martin from Belle Vernon High School and Hayes from the legendary Aliquippa, flowing to Happy Valley.

Hayes also has offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, West Virginia, Pitt, and Tennessee amongst others.

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