Hayes Named Senior CLASS Award All-American

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois punter Blake Hayes was named to the Senior CLASS Award All-America second team, the Senior CLASS Award announced. The honor is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athletes in Division I FBS football.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior or graduate student and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character, and competition.

Blake Hayes Photo by Harry Figiel, Illinois Athletics

Hayes left Illinois with nearly every punting record, including season punts inside the 20, season punts inside the 20 percentage, season 50+ yard punts, career punting average, career punt yards, career punts inside the 20, and career 50+ yard punts. He was a five-time All-Big Ten selection, four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, 2021 Academic All-District, and a 2021 Ray Guy Award finalist.

Hayes did one of the most creative philanthropic efforts in college football in 2021, donating to the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation's Connor's Run to support research for brain cancer in children for every punt he landed inside the 20-yard line. Hayes accepted matches to his donation and raised over $5,000 for the Foundation.

Hayes is now preparing for the NFL Draft. He was rated the No. 5 NFL Draft punting prospect in the nation by Mel Kiper during the preseason.

2021 Senior CLASS Award FBS Football First Team All-Americans
Thomas Booker, Stanford
Sean Clifford, Penn State
Jordan Davis, Georgia
Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
* Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
* - Senior CLASS Award winner

2021 Senior CLASS Award FBS Football Second Team All-Americans
Blake Hayes, Illinois
Hayden Howerton, SMU
Silas Kelly, Coastal Carolina
Chris Olave, Ohio State
Brock Purdy, Iowa State

Podcasts

I on the Illini - the Illini Defeat #10 MSU Minus Cockburn & Curbelo (S2,Ep6)

Read

Watch: Illini's Frazier, Plummer, Goode talk about win over #10 Michigan State

Read

IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - Jan 21 Weekend - 1st Hour

Read

IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - Jan 21 Weekend - 2nd Hour

Read

I on the Illini - Maryland Upsets Kofi-less Illini (S2,Ep5)

Read

Watch: Illini coach Brad Underwood talks after loss at Maryland

Read

I on the Illini - Curbelo's Return and Dainja Enrollment - What does it Mean for the Illini (S2,Ep4)

Read

I on the Illini - Purdue Wins a 2OT Thriller at the State Farm Center (S2,Ep3)

Read

Watch: #17 Illinois vs. #4 Purdue highlights

Read

Watch: Illini players Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk & Alfonso Plummer and head coach Brad Underwood talk after Purdue game

Read

Watch: Former Illini great Meyers Leonard talks about Ubben donation

Read

Watch: Highlights of Illini women at Penn State

Read

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Illini Legend Deon Thomas

Read

IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - Jan 14 Weekend - 1st Hour

Read

IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular - Jan 14 Weekend - 2nd Hour

Read