Former FSU linebacker Geno Hayes, a sixth-round pick of the Bucs who spent four seasons in Tampa Bay, reportedly is in hospice care in south Georgia due to liver disease.
A first-team all-ACC selection taken with the 175th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Hayes is 33.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Hayes currently is at his mother’s home in Valdosta, roughly 20 miles north of the Florida-Georgia state line. ESPN reported Hayes is suffering from liver disease.
“Geno’s in need of prayers,” Frankie Carroll, Hayes’ coach at Madison County High in the Panhandle, told the Democrat. “He’s fighting for his life. It’s tough. Geno’s a fun-loving guy.”
Hayes signed with the Seminoles out of Madison County in 2005, and appeared in all 13 games as a freshman. By his junior season, he evolved into a defensive leader and fixture at outside linebacker, ranking second on the team in tackles (80) and first in tackles for loss (17.5).
He started 42 of 48 games his final three seasons in Tampa Bay, stepping in at weakside linebacker following the release of Derrick Brooks in 2009. From 2009-2011, Hayes totaled 244 tackles, seven sacks and four interceptions.
He signed a one-year deal with the Bears in 2012, making only three starts in his lone season in Chicago, then made 25 starts over two seasons in Jacksonville.
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