The Contra Costa College defensive back is ready to pounce when a spot does become available, though.
"I just want to be able to play at a Division I school and make plays," Hayes said. "That's all I want to do. I'm going to do whatever it takes."
Last weekend, Hayes took an unofficial visit to Colorado, along with about two dozen high school juniors.
With the Buffaloes thin at safety, they are considering adding Hayes to the 2016 roster. The Buffs just don't have a scholarship to give at this point.
"We're communicating, and we'll see what happens," Hayes said. "They're thinking about doing an offer, but it's looking good right now."
Even if an offer doesn't come this spring or summer, Hayes said he and CU have talked about him playing this next season at Contra Costa and then signing with the Buffs as a mid-year transfer in December. Currently, he has four years to play three, and he would be eligible to play right away for the Buffs.
At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Hayes played corner and safety as a freshman at Contra Costa last fall. If he comes to CU, he could be asked to play any number of roles in the secondary.
"That's exactly what (head coach Mike MacIntyre) said: 'You have to be able to play nickel, safety, and a little bit of corner,'" Hayes said. "I'm versatile."
He proved his versatility as a senior at Vallejo (Calif.) High School in 2014.
"I was a late bloomer," he said. "Nobody really knew about me. When I was finally discovered out there, it was like everything was too late."
Rather than go the Division II route, Hayes decided to go a junior college, with hopes of landing a Division I spot. Montana was hoping he'd sign there this spring, but Hayes wanted a bigger stage. A handful of other schools, including Louisville, Hawaii, New Mexico and UNLV have also talked with Hayes.
Hayes said on Tuesday, however, that if Colorado offered him a scholarship, he'd accept it immediately, especially after a stellar visit to Boulder this past weekend.
"It was beautiful," he said. "I had a different perspective going out there. I thought it would be a lot of snow and just ugly. But I got out there and it was such a beautiful site. From the school to the coaches to everything, it was perfect.
"I feel like I connected with some of the players. I feel like it can be a good fit."
CU's new facilities keep getting rave reviews, and Hayes backs that up.
"They were dope," he said. "That's something I went home and bragged about. I've seen the facilities at Cal, Nevada; I've been to UCLA and USC, and (Colorado) is by far the best."
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at email@example.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.