Poly Prep junior defensive lineman Jay Hayes has agreed to play football at Notre Dame.
Hayes, who had 53 offers from Bowl Championship Series schools, picked the Irish and coach Brian Kelly over the likes of Ohio State, Florida, Michigan, and Georgia.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Hayes, the ninth-ranked recruit in the country at his position by Scout.com, chose Notre Dame not only because it currently ranked third in the nation and has a rich football tradition, but because of the academic opportunity provided by its business school.
“It’s an opportunity of life time,” Hayes said. “With a football program that is as good as that and the academics go hand and hand. It’s sort of perfect.”
Hayes plans to visit the school this weekend — just in time for the Irish’s game against Wake Forest.
Hayes can be seen on Poly Prep’s offensive line, but the player also prides himself on his defensive ability. He joins in the footsteps of Blue Devils alum Eric Olsen, a center for the New Orleans Saints who started 31 games for Notre Dame.
Hayes hopes to surpass Olsen — as well as every other player who went to Poly.
“I want to be the greatest player to ever be at Poly,” Hayes said. “I got this out of the way. I’m going to Notre Dame. Next year I just want to prove that I am the greatest player to leave Poly.”
Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.