Jimmy Byrne pledges to ’14 recruiting class

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Cleveland offensive tackle Jimmy Byrne has committed to the Fighting Irish, the fourth member of the Notre Dame ’14 recruiting class. The St. Ignatius left tackle will join Harry Hiestand’s offensive line, with the flexibility to play both tackle or guard.

Byrne’s commitment isn’t a surprise. A tweet sent from an account associated with St. Ignatius’ football program congratulated Byrne on the decision last week, but was quickly deleted earlier in the week. Yet Byrne made the news official today after a talking with head coach Brian Kelly.

“I think the past couple of weeks I’ve kind of known Notre Dame was where I wanted to go,” Byrne told Irish Illustrated. “I just had to go see a game at Ohio State and really evaluate all my options. I think at the end of the day Notre Dame is the best fit for me on the field and off the field, plus I’ll get to play for coach Kelly and Coach Hiestand.”

Byrne is one of Ohio’s top offensive line prospects, with the offers to prove it. He turned down opportunities to play for Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana and West Virginia. Back in August, Byrne was focused on three schools — Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame — but watching the Irish’s 12-0 season, and the stellar play from Hiestand’s unit, likely made the decision easier.

The coaching staff, the academics, I thought it would be the perfect fit for me,” Byrne told 247Sports.com’s Steve Wiltfong. “Going from St. Ignatius to Notre Dame will be similar. I love where I’m at at Ignatius and I feel it will be similar at Notre Dame on a bigger scale.”

Byrne joins linebacker Greer Martini, wide receiver Justin Brent, and defensive lineman Jay Hayes in the ’14 class.