Notre Dame recruiting targets take in Irish victory

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — On a night when Daelin Hayes only needed to relax, he still managed to show a little bit of his athleticism.

Sitting in the stands behind the north end zone before the game, the elite defensive recruit caught a pair of punts flying at him from the field. Even with Notre Dame defensive line coach Keith Gilmore talking to him, Hayes hauled in the second punt.

Notre Dame’s coaching staff would like to catch Hayes too. The USC linebacker commit made an unofficial visit to South Bend to catch the Irish defeat Texas 38-3 on Saturday. Hayes, who is being recruited by the Irish as a combination defensive end/rush linebacker, also plans to return for an official visit when the Irish host the Trojans in October.

Notre Dame has made sure to keep in touch with the 6-foot-3, 239-pound senior at Ann Arbor (Mich.) Skyline, despite his USC commitment. Hayes even received special attention from head coach Brian Kelly before the game. As Kelly and the team entered Notre Dame Stadium, Kelly stopped to give Hayes a hug.

Rivals rates Hayes as a five-star recruit, the No. 3 outside linebacker and No. 13 player overall regardless of position in the 2016 class. 247Sports slates him as a four-star prospect and No. 8 at outside linebacker.

Several recruiting targets in the 2016 class joined Hayes.

Wide receiver Demetris Robertson, the top multi-positional athlete in the class on Rivals, stood near the field recording on his phone the Notre Dame team in a group huddle before warmups. Cornerback Donte Vaughn did the same.

Four of Notre Dame’s offensive line commits — seniors Tommy Kraemer, Parker Boudreaux and Liam Eichenberg, and junior Dillan Gibbons — made the trip to South Bend for the season opener.

Irish safety commit Jalen Elliott spent time talking with cornerback target Eric Cuffee and slot receiver/running back target Melquise Stovall before the group of more than 30 recruits was ushered to its seating area. Safety D.J. Morgan and wide receiver Donnie Corley, both 2016 targets, also attended the game.

Twitter reaction

Below are tweets from various Notre Dame recruiting visitors during the weekend.

2016 OL commit Parker Boudreaux

GAMEDAYYYYYY pic.twitter.com/Qz0yQmaxKz

— P-Money (@ParkerBoudreaux) September 5, 2015

2017 CB prospect Ambry Thomas

Two 4⭐️ recruits on on Notre Dames campus today for the game @JKellypowell@Hit_Squad9#irishpic.twitter.com/DaRCBdumuc

— Ambry Thomas 1⃣3⃣ (@Tavonn_) September 5, 2015

2017 OL commit Dillan Gibbons with Boudreaux

@ParkerBoudreauxpic.twitter.com/oZI9Y8vzJq

— Dillan R. Gibbons (@GibbonsDillan) September 5, 2015

More from Boudreaux

NOTRE DAME HAS THE BEST FANS OF ALL TIME

— P-Money (@ParkerBoudreaux) September 5, 2015

2017 WR prospect Mac Hippenhammer

Game time !!! #NDVsTexas ‼️ pic.twitter.com/8Y70HLGOrD

— Mac Hippenhammer (@machipp2) September 6, 2015

2017 WR prospect Reggie Crawford Jr.

Unofficial visit to Notre Dame today . pic.twitter.com/EaVBBUFc1w

— Reginald Crawford Jr (@ScholarAthlete_) September 6, 2015

More from Thomas

Notre dame balling

— Ambry Thomas 1⃣3⃣ (@Tavonn_) September 6, 2015

2016 DT prospect Jovan Swann

It's beautiful up in South Bend! pic.twitter.com/6WTZHPkXxW

— Jován L. Swann (@_jswann) September 6, 2015

2016 WR target Demetris Robertson

They want me to take his spot!! Haha pic.twitter.com/y73Uvf7U1F

— RealRobertson5 (@d_rob4) September 6, 2015

2016 TE prospect Niko Lalos

What a day

— Niko (@nlalos) September 6, 2015

2016 OL prospect Matthew Gutwald

Had a FANTASTIC time at Notre Dame today! God, Country, Notre Dame #GoIrishpic.twitter.com/1wEhX1ShaA

— Matthew Gutwald (@matthewgutwald) September 6, 2015

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Fans reach for high fives from players following the 38-3 win over Texas on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN