Hayes Is a Priority for ND

Notre Dame has only offered a handful of running backs for the 2011 recruiting class and one of them is Justice Hayes from Grand Blanc High School (Mich.) Hayes was one of the top recruiting targets at Notre Dame's junior day held Saturday and he was impressed with the new coaching staff.

Brian Kelly is looking for a dynamic running back for his offense and Justice Hayes (5-foot-10, 182-pounds) might be the guy Kelly is looking for. Hayes made his first visit to Notre Dame last weekend, and he liked what he saw.

"All the coaches were nice and they all told me that they wanted me to come to their school," Hayes recalled of his junior day experience. "They have a great football atmosphere down there. It felt great making the trip. I had a verbal from Notre Dame before, and then coach Kelly gave me my written offer. Notre Dame is a great school and it's one of my favorite schools so far, so we'll see how it goes.

"I told coach Kelly that I was going to be patient about making my decision. He said that it was necessary, and told me to take my time and not to rush anything. That's where I was headed anyway, so that was nice to hear him say.

"Coach Kelly he told me that he would really like me to be a part of their offense and that I would fit perfectly into their system," he said. "My school runs the spread offense, and they're going to run a spread offense at Notre Dame, so he said that I'd be a perfect back for his offense. They would really like me to come to their school and there's a chance for me to get on the field early.

"I asked them how they'd utilize me in their offense. Not only will they have the running back catching the ball, but they'll put the run a single-back set with the quarterback under center and handing the ball off and running up the middle. They said they'd switch between the spread and the one-back set."

Although Hayes talked a lot of football with the Notre Dame coaches, he and his mother also had other topics that they wanted to cover… specifically academics.

"My mother had a lot of questions, but they answered every question that she had," Hayes said. "She loves Notre Dame. She actually loves any school that has academics as their No. 1 priority. She thought it would be a great school for me if I want to be set after college and I don't go pro or after football. She was very excited about that and she talked to me about it."

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