Aggressive Hayes brings attitude to Irish D

Our fourth of 22 (and counting?) "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming pledges examines Jay Hayes, a crucial interior defensive line competitor. How will Hayes improve head coach Brian Kelly's Irish roster, both in 2014 and beyond?

Ranked No. 21 among the nation's defensive tackles by Scout.com, Jay Hayes joins Greer Martini, Justin Brent, and Jimmy Byrne as 2014 class pledges that announced their intentions to join the Irish roster more than a year prior to National Signing Day.

Below is a film review of Hayes with an eye toward how his skills project to the collegiate level, both next fall and beyond.

Current strengths and areas for development

Shows good quickness in space as an end, the type that could translate into athleticism inside…Has great feet for a 6'5" 270-plus pound prep athlete…Definitely enjoys contact, has a mean streak, and looks to dominate, not merely hit or block...Has the wingspan Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston covets in a defensive lineman (key to shedding blocks)…

Film showed a large sampling of big hits in space but that's about 1 percent of being a collegiate interior lineman…I love him as an O-Line prospect as well but the Irish are set on the other side of scrimmage…Wraps up despite obvious desire for kill shot (sometimes employs the "wrap and toss" which probably won't be encouraged fundamentally…Often played to the field side in high school to best utilize his athleticism…Going to need a pass-rushing counter move other than his current bull rush or swim)…As an offensive lineman, looks to throw blocks downfield and after turnovers -- and intends to inflict damage with each…Pursues the ball carrier with a mission…A few unnecessary roughness calls are afoot upon arrival…

Disengages well even if he's caught with high pads and spying/peering into the backfield…Has very impressive short space quickness but also can give legitimate chase in his 4th and 5th steps…Playing in short space and traffic could be an adjustment but he does appear to locate the ball well in a scrum…Used to being the hitter, not the victim, but it appears he won't mind the contact headed his way as a potential defensive tackle.

Road blocks to playing time

There are four:

1.) Sheldon Day, Jarron Jones, and Isaac Rochell remaining in good health.
2.) Chase Hounshell and Tony Springmann recovering from shoulder and knee surgery, respectively
3.) The potential return and later, the development of, 5th-year senior Justin Utupo to the line…
4.) Fellow freshmen Andrew Trumbetti's development as an early enrollee (already on campus).

Defensive line coach Mike Elston will likely need the contributions of two freshmen defensive linemen to augment the efforts of his returning veterans, and a deep defensive line rotation is likely -- at least during the season's opening month -- to find the best mix.

Trumbetti, followed by Hayes, appear the best bets as rookies.


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