Justice Hayes (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) has found his wonderland.
On Friday morning at a press conference at his school, the four-star running back verbally committed to Notre Dame, choosing the Irish over Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Tennessee.
“The first thing that was on my mind going into the recruiting process, is I wanted to go to a school that has high academic standards, and Notre Dame fits that,” the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hayes told Irish Sports Daily on Wednesday night. “That was the first thing, and everything else fell into place.
“The exposure, Notre Dame has crazy exposure. They’re on national television every Saturday. Notre Dame is a big-time program. When I went down to visit, both times I loved it. I talked to coach (Brian) Kelly a couple times, and felt the love from the coaching staff. I talked to the players and I loved that. All of them were down-to-earth guys, all about being successful in life.
“All that mixed together was a Justice Hayes wonderland.”
Hayes becomes the 13th player to verbally commit to Notre Dame in the recruiting class-of-2011, and first running back. As a junior, he rushed for 1,122 yard and 10 touchdowns, while adding another 22 receptions for 239 yards. He did all of that on an injured ankle.
“There is a lot of history at Notre Dame, and I want to leave my own set of history,” Hayes said. “I want to be the next All-American tailback to come out of Notre Dame. There haven’t been too many of those recently, but by the time coach Kelly’s recruits come in, we’re going to make some noise. We have some talented guys coming in, in the 2010 and 2011 recruiting classes, and we’re hoping to get us a championship. It’s going to be a lot of All-American type guys leaving their mark.”
Earlier in the week, Hayes informed running backs coach Tim Hinton and his recruiter Chuck Martin of his decision.
“They were both fired up.”
Hayes is fired up to be part of the program and stated that he won’t be visiting any other schools.
“This is it. I’m done with the visiting. Notre Dame is the place where I want to be at, and it will be come signing day.”
Tuesday, Dec 10th
Last update:06:55:53 PM GMT