'It's the perfect fit'

Four-star linebacker Josh Barajas of Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean goes in-depth about his flip from Penn State to Notre Dame.

Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston kept a secret from the rest of the Irish staff for about a week.

"When Coach Elston came by my school last week, I kind of gave him a clue," four-star linebacker Josh Barajas said. "I told him I was really thinking about Notre Dame again. After that, he didn't tell any of the other Notre Dame coaches about what I said because he didn't want to put any extra pressure on me. So, when I called him yesterday (Friday), he wasn't completely surprised."

Barajas, who first named the Irish his leader after visiting Notre Dame in March and landing the Irish offer, visited Penn State just a few weeks later and shortly thereafter committed to the Nittany Lions.

However, the Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean standout couldn't shake his fellings towards Notre Dame.

"It was about a month or three weeks ago that I started having these thoughts," Barajas said. "I talked to my dad and my coach about it. My dad has been on board with it (Notre Dame) from the beginning. My coach told me to wait it out a little bit longer, and if I was still having these thoughts, we would figure out the next move."

For the 6-foot-3, 212-pound linebacker, a vareity of factors led to the switch in commitment.

"Notre Dame is awesome," Barajas said. "It's the perfect fit. It's close to home. And, a lot of it had to do with the academics and what a degree looks like from Notre Dame."

"I had no doubts about Penn State," Barajas said. "They are doing great things there. Calling Coach (James) Franklin was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But, he's a great guy, and he understood."

Barajas will hit South Bend in two weeks.

"I'm visiting June 13," Barjas said. "I'm not sure yet about (Irish Invasion), but if they want me there, I'll try to make it back."

Barajas will likely play SAM linebacker at Notre Dame.

"Coach Elston and Coach (Kelly) were really excited when I called," Barajas said. "They said they were excited to coach me and that they were going to push me hard, but that I was going to excel at Notre Dame."

"I'll bring a lot of athleticism," Barajas said. "I can play a lot of different roles, whatever the team needs, I'll do."

Barajas is ranked as the No. 1 player in Indiana and as the No. 11 outside linebacker in the class of 2015.

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