Senior DE Daelin Hayes plans to return to Notre Dame for fifth year

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Two days after his senior season was ended by a torn labrum in his right shoulder, defensive end Daelin Hayes announced his plan to return to Notre Dame for a fifth year.

The 6-foot-4, 266-pound Hayes injured his shoulder early in Saturday’s 35-20 win over Virginia. Because he only played in four games this season, Hayes automatically qualifies for a redshirt season. The decision to return next season came down to Hayes and Notre Dame’s coaching staff.

The Irish certainly would like Hayes back after a strong start to his senior season. He recorded six tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack and one fumble recovery in the first three games.

“I am blessed to have had the opportunity to suit up for this University with the greatest brotherhood I’ve ever known,” Hayes wrote as part of a caption on Instagram. “I am even more blessed to have been granted an opportunity to return next year for my fifth year. God willing, I promise to give everything I have in order to serve both my Brothers on this team and The University of Notre Dame.”

Hayes will enter his fifth year at Notre Dame with 78 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, four fumble recoveries, three pass breakups and one forced fumble in his Irish career. Hayes should be in line to start at weakside defensive end next year with current starter and fellow senior Julian Okwara’s eligibility expiring after this season.

Hayes joined the Irish as a coveted prospect in the 2016 class out of Ann Arbor (Mich.) Skyline. Rivals rated Hayes a five-star recruit, the No. 7 outside linebacker and No. 31 overall in the class. 247Sports slated him as a four-star recruit, the No. 10 outside linebacker and No. 133 overall.

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Before I stepped foot on a field field, before any ball was snapped, before any win or loss, I made a promise... A promise to use this game, this platform to glorify Your name regardless of outcome. To be a servant to both You and your word, my teammates, and overall community. And to fully embrace and attack each day with a heart of gratitude understanding that it was a blessing and a privilege to play this game. With these promises in mind, not only did I find a greater love for the game, but a greater love for the grind. Embracing the journey, the process, and maximizing each step along the way has brought me joy in unimaginable ways. It is in these lessons that I have found peace within my current circumstance. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to suit up for this University with the greatest brotherhood I’ve ever known. I am even more blessed to have been granted an opportunity to return next year for my fifth year. God willing, I promise to give everything I have in order to serve both my Brothers on this team and The University of Notre Dame ??

A post shared by Daelin Hayes (@d_hayes_9) on Sep 30, 2019 at 5:43pm PDT