Friday morning Justice Hayes (5-foot-10, 182-pounds) ended his college football recruitment by selecting Notre Dame over Michigan, Tennessee, Northwestern, Iowa, and Michigan State.
"I just felt everything was right at Notre Dame," Hayes explained. "It has everything that I need as far as academics, in terms of football, social life and networking. I sat down with my family and thought about it long and hard and I came up with the decision to commit to Notre Dame.
"I want to have a successful life when I grow up. I've seen guys that went to Michigan and Michigan State get their degrees, but they're still around Flint, not doing anything. I'm afraid of being in that position, so I felt that my fate was at Notre Dame.
It wasn't something that Hayes felt from the start of his recruitment. He looked hard at other schools, but after speaking with Notre Dame assistant Charley Molnar on his last visit to South Bend, he realized his best option was to play football for the Irish.
"At one point I was thinking about going to Tennessee, but I really didn't know anything about that school," Hayes recalled. "But when I went down to visit Notre Dame, it grounded me a little bit. Notre Dame is the best place for me in terms of what I'm trying to do, and what I'm trying to be in life. That's how I came up with my decision. That was about three weeks ago, after my last visit to Notre Dame. Towards the end of my visit, I talked to coach Molnar and he really helped me out.
When I was there, I basically told them that I was going to commit. I didn't say it right then and there, but I let them know that I was ready to set up a press conference and was ready to announce my decision."
"My family is behind me 100 percent," he said. "This is basically the road they they wanted me to take. They just wanted me to get a great education. That was basically what their feelings were through the recruiting process. They wanted me to get a great education, for me to get my degree and be a successful person. I'd have to say that the top two schools that my parents wanted me to go to were Notre Dame and Northwestern.
"I'm glad to have this out of the way, so I can focus on my team and focus on wining a state title this year."
Notre Dame Has Everything for Hayes
IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories
Video: Elston evaluates his defensive lineMike Elston sees a renewed commitment to getting bigger, faster and stronger from his players this spring. He believes they have the tools to pressure the quarterback this season.
Whose Offense Is It? Call It ND’sLong does not sound like an offensive coordinator/play-caller looking over his shoulder, waiting for the head coach to swoop in and change his decisions.
Notre Dame Offer Game-Changer For Maryland DTRidgely (Md.) North Caroline defensive tackle was surprised to be offered by Notre Dame during his first day on campus.
Scout FootballYesterday at 5:57 PM
Wimbush: ‘last year was very unacceptable’Brandon Wimbush on lessons learned from last season, the challenges of being the starting quarterback at Notre Dame and learning Chip Long's offense.
IrishIllustrated.comYesterday at 2:54 PM