Notre Dame landed a commitment from blue-chip prospect Daelin Hayes on Thursday, with the linebacker picking the Irish over Ohio State and Michigan State. The Michigan native is an early-enrollee candidate who at one point was committed to USC before stepping away from that decision this fall. Hayes is rated as the No. 21 player in the country by Rivals.com.
At 6-foot-3 and 254 pounds, Hayes has readymade size that could project to an edge rush position as well as linebacker. His offer list includes schools like Alabama and LSU, though he officially visited Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State before settling on the Irish.
Hayes made his commitment “in style,” paying homage to the Dark Knight in a Bleacher Report video similar to the one made by Iman Marshall and other top-flight recruits.
Outside of that flash, Hayes decision came after a long look at Notre Dame. The 5-star recruit wants to make the same kind of impact that Jaylon Smith has made in his three seasons in South Bend. Hayes credits Smith for the advice that led to him making this commitment.
While Hayes hopes to be the same type of player that Smith is, his game is a different. He’ll likely find multiple ways to be impactful, just like Smith—if he can stay healthy. Shoulder injuries have limited his time on the field, and Hayes has bounced around high schools as well, transferring to St. Bonaventure in California before returning home to the Detroit area, finishing his high school career at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor.
Brian Kelly has already taken to Twitter for his customary commitment tweet. A slew of interviews with Hayes are popping up around the web, where Hayes discusses his decision to come to Notre Dame, including an in-depth video interview with Irish 247.
Hayes makes 19 commitments in Notre Dame’s 2016 recruiting class. He’s set to be an early-enrollee, beginning his time in South Bend after the semester break.
Here’s a collection of highlights showing Hayes at work on the football field.