Incoming Irish: Jay Hayes
Jay Hayes will step onto Notre Dame's campus as a student in just three days. Freshmen on the team will report on June 14, but Hayes is headed to South Bend two days earlier with his mom. "I am going earlier so that my mom can look around and everything," Hayes said. "The earlier, the better. I'm so ready to get there. Everything is going great. We graduated a couple of weeks ago. To me, it's not that weird. It's just another stepping stone, and now Notre Dame is the next step." In the offseason, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound lineman worked on cutting weight and familiarizing himself with the style of workouts provided by Notre Dame strength and conditioning coach Paul Longo. "Workouts are going well," Hayes said. "Coach Longo obviously has a great program and a great track record. It's nothing too intricate right now, but it's setting us up for the complicated ones that we will do when we get to campus. It's really simple but effective." "I've dropped some bad weight," Hayes said. "I want to get back up to 275 or 280 in September. Hayes also worked out with Notre Dame lineman Ishaq Williams, who also hails from Brooklyn. "I did a few workouts with Ishaq," Hayes said. "We ran together, too. He's a great guy. Very laid back. We both understand each other, both being from Brooklyn. We connect very easily and I get where he comes from. I get why he acts like he does. "You can sense when he's angry," Hayes said. "He's a really serious guy, but he does have a fun side to him. I have looked up all the guys on the Notre Dame roster to watch some of their interviews, and it was hilarious when Ishaq responded to a question, "I can't answer that." "I was like, 'Are you serious,' Hayes said, laughing. "It was a simple question, too. I was like, oh man, Ishaq." Hayes has already established a friendship with fellowing incoming freshman, Nyles Morgan. "We don't know our rooming assignments yet, and I know we room with regular students, but I hope I get Nyles Morgan for the summer," Hayes said. "We both want to work really hard, and he's a great kid. I want to be around the best." When Hayes gets on campus, adjusting himself to campus life is his first priority. "I want to get comfortable on campus," Hayes said. "I think my personality allows me to fit in a lot of places. I want to make sure I'm comfortable off the field, with academics, my teachers and the support staff. Because once football really kicks into high gear, I want to be able to be balanced with everything." Hayes is eyeing the defending national champions as the game he's most excited to be a part of in 2014. "Actually, it's two games," Hayes said. "Florida State and Michigan. But, if I had to pick one, it would be Florida State. I would love to take a crack at Jameis Winston. Hayes enrolls at Notre Dame as a four-star prospect and as the No. 21 ranked defensive tackle in the class of 2014.
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