The commitments kept coming on Sunday, as former Notre Dame defensive end Jay Hayes has announced his decision to join the Oklahoma Sooners as a graduate transfer. Hayes started every game for the Fighting Irish in 2017, finishing with 27 total tackles and a sack. He figures to find a role somewhere in the Sooners’ D-line rotation this fall. The powerful run stopper was one of many official visitors this weekend for Oklahoma, but the commitment comes as a bit of a surprise.
An interesting note about the Brooklyn native is that one of his primary recruiters at Notre Dame coming out of high school was former Fighting Irish D-coordinator Bob Diaco, who is now part of the Oklahoma coaching staff as a defensive analyst. As a defensive analyst, Diaco’s responsibilities do not include recruiting or conducting practices, but it wouldn’t surprise me if having Diaco on staff played at least a small part in Hayes’ decision.
Hayes was one of a slew of high-profile visitors for Oklahoma’s spring game this weekend, and he’s the sixth public commitment of the week over all. OU earned commitments from Arjei Henderson, Theo Wease, Jamal Morris, and 2020 RB Jaylan Knighton on Friday before earning another from DT Derek Green on Saturday.
Hayes brings size (6’3” 289 pounds) and experience to the Sooners’ defensive line. D-ends coach Calvin Thibodeaux is going to have a decent pool of players to work in his rotation this season, especially after last season’s recruiting haul of edge rushing talent. Time will tell how much playing time Hayes will see in 2018, but it never hurts to have more players on a team who can strengthen the depth for a pivotal unit like the defensive line.
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