Notre Dame picked up its third commitment in the Class of 2014 on Wednesday in the form of 2014 offensive lineman/defensive lineman Jay Hayes.
“Yessir!!! Go ND!!!,” Hayes texted Irish Sports Daily.
“It's an honor to announce that I'll be a part of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Class of 2018,” Hayes later added on Facebook. “Go Irish!”
The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder from Brookyln's Poly Prep chose the Irish over offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon, Maryland, UCLA, Washington and Rutgers among several others.
Hayes had a top three of Notre Dame, Michigan and Rutgers early in the process, but last month told Irish Sports Daily that Notre Dame was out in front.
Hayes, who comes from the same high school as former Irish offensive lineman Eric Olsen, was impressed by the combination of athletics and academics that Notre Dame provides.
“I’ve been rooting for Notre Dame and it’s a great academic institution,” he told ISD last month. “You have to look at a school like that because a lot kids can’t get in there. Me using football as a vehicle to get a degree or move on to the next level and have an opportunity to win a national championship, it’s amazing. You have to take advantage of those opportunities.”
He could end up on either side of the ball, but has recently started to develop a sincere affection for defense.
“I think I’m having a better defensive year than offensive year,” he said. “I’m really enjoying the defensive side of the ball. I like being able to make plays for the team, being able to get in that backfield in under three seconds.”
“I’m still not sure, but I think I’m leaning toward defense.”
Hayes joins Indiana wide receiver Justin Brent and Virginia linebacker Greer Martini in the Irish's early 2014 haul.