Notre Dame football recruiting notebook: Florida standout picks Miami over ND

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame was in it until the end, but junior offensive lineman Kc McDermott chose Miami on Tuesday afternoon.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound prospect from Wellington, Fla., announced his decision at a 2 p.m. ceremony at his school, Palm Beach Central High.

Jeff Greer of the Palm Beach Post reported McDermott's decision from the high school.

"I've decided to stay home and go to The U," McDermott said to the crowd, according to Greer.

Both programs had a family link to McDermott. The Irish recently hired his oldest brother, Tyler, as a graduate assistant for the football program and the middle McDermott brother, Shane, started at center for Miami as a redshirt sophomore in 2012.

Kc McDermott visited Notre Dame for two days last week before making one more trip to Miami and reaching a decision.

"I'm not changing my decision. Nothing can change it," McDermott said, according to Greer. "I very seriously considered Notre Dame. It's a great school as I've always said, but I couldn't leave my friends and family. It just wasn't going to happen."

A four-star recruit, McDermott ranks as the No. 31 overall prospect in the 2014 class and the fourth-best offensive tackle on slates McDermott at No. 50 overall.

McDermott would have become the highest-ranked commitment in Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting class. The current class sits at five verbal commitments.

Kiel talks to ESPN

In the first known public comments since his announced transfer, Gunner Kiel spoke with ESPN's Joe Schad about his options for a future school.

Kiel visited Cincinnati over the weekend, but the former five-star quarterback has a number of other schools reaching out to him. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kansas State, Tennessee, Ball State, Northern Illinois and Miami (Ohio) were all listed in Schad's report as options.

"The biggest factor for me now going through it all again is having a great relationship with my position coach," Kiel said in the report.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback will have to sit out a season to transfer to another FBS program.

"This is something you don't want to do," Kiel told Schad. "But at the same time, I'm doing what's in my best interest and to get on the field."

Kiel did not say which program he will visit next.

Another OL visitor

Junior offensive lineman Jamarco Jones is set to visit Notre Dame for Wednesday's spring practice.

The 6-5, 290-pound prospect from Chicago De La Salle will be making his first visit to campus in 2013.

A four-star prospect, Jones ranks as the No. 43 recruit overall and the fifth-best offensive tackle, according to 247Sports. Rivals slates Jones at No. 94 overall.

Four-star offensive lineman Sam Mustipher will also be on campus for Wednesday's practice.

April foolery

Junior defensive lineman Jay Hayes has only been verbally committed to Notre Dame since November, but he already feels comfortable enough to prank Irish football fans.

The joke started when Hayes made a Facebook post late Sunday night that described a decommitment.

"After my visit at Notre Dame, I felt as if it wasn't the right atmosphere to spend 4 years of my collegiate life," Hayes wrote onFacebook. "While contemplating about my options, I've spoken with countless Family, Friends & coaches & they all agree I should change my initial decision. I will update you guys tomorrow. Thank you."

Then on Monday, a tweet from Hayes' Twitter account (@JayHayesND) listed five schools, which some fans read as the new schools the prospect was considering.

Those posts have since been deleted. The joke came to an end on Monday night, when Hayes teased fans even more on Twitter.

"#NDnation sorry to let you down! #NotreDame #goldenarmy14. I just want to be honest & hope you will understand," he wrote on Twitter.

But accompanying that tweet was a photo of Hayes wearing a Notre Dame jersey. The top of the photo read "Decommitted from NotreDame" while the bottom of the photo read "APRIL FOOLS!!!"

Reaction to the prank was mixed at best. Fellow 2014 commits Jimmy Byrne and Andrew Trumbetti weighed in on Twitter.

Trumbetti tweeted "that was not funny" in response to Hayes' photo. When Hayes responded that he was trying to get Trumbetti to take part in the joke as well, Trumbetti wrote, "nah man I want no part in that joke!! I was about to cry."

Byrne tweeted: "hahah you had me worried for a second #wellplayed."

It appears former Notre Dame center and captain Braxston Cave didn't find the joke funny.

"fake committing/decommitting as a April Fools joke is the dumbest thing I have ever seen. Won't be funny when they put the pads on in August," Cave tweeted Tuesday.

Hayes remains verbally committed to Notre Dame. Signing Day for 2014 is Feb. 5.

Sophomore offers

A pair of 2015 prospects received offers from Notre Dame over the past couple days.

Jack Beneventi, a quarterback at Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill., reported an offer on Sunday. The 6-6, 185-pound recruit holds offers from Illinois, Massachusetts and Western Michigan.

Jashon Cornell, a defensive end/outside linebacker at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minn, reported an offer on Wednesday. The 6-4, 230-pounder, who received an offer from USC earlier on Wednesday, now holds five offers, the others being Iowa, Minnesota and Rutgers.

Both recruits made unofficial visits to Notre Dame's campus in March.

Staff writer Tyler James: