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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

June 27, 2020

Written by Joe Bradshaw

While recruits traditionally have much in common because of the commonality of the process, the Class of 2021 prospects will always be remembered as the COVID-19 recruits.  When writing an article which contains updates on both a 2021 player and a 2022 player, the differences in their experiences, or at least prospective experiences, becomes clear.  Class of 2021 prospects have been taking virtual campus tours, talking to coaches via Zoom and Skype and relying on friends and former teammates for information about gameday experiences.  Of course, most Class of 2021 recruits have taken unofficial visits to college campuses, in some cases many campuses, but that just doesn’t replace the official visit experience.

Class of 2022 prospects are, like their counterparts in the class of 2021, playing the waiting game to see when they can finally see some of the schools that are recruiting them up close and personal.  For them, though, they have every reason to be confident that they will largely go through the normal recruiting process. 

Last week, Irish Sports Daily reported on two recruits, on in the Class of 2021 and one in 2022.  One cannot help but be struck by how different their recruiting experiences and expectations are.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Kaleb Edwards‍, S, 6-0, 195, Dacula High School, Dacula, GA is tired of the recruiting process and ready to make a decision.  While he has apparently decided, he’s going to make the rest of the world wait until July 1st to find out.

“The recruiting process is getting a little tiring,” he explained.  “It hit me and I found my place where I wanted to be at and why wait?”

Even though Edwards recently announced a top ten, he’s focused his attention lately on four schools, Notre Dame, Louisville, Duke and Georgia Tech.  He pointed to his family as playing a big role in his final decision.

“Just talking to them about what I want out of my life, what I want out of my college experience and where I’m going to thrive and be the best version of myself,” Edwards said about his and his family’s decision-making process.

Irish Defensive Coordinator Clark Lea, Safeties Coach, Terry Joseph and Head Coach Brian Kelly kept Notre Dame in the race until the end.  For Edwards, he’s just ready to be done with the recruiting process.

“Football season is getting ready to kick back up and I wanted to just really focus on football and enjoying my senior year and being with my boys,” he shared.  “I don’t want my recruitment to get in the way of all that.”

While Edwards’ recruitment is ending, Dallan Hayden’s is just beginning, at least from the Notre Dame perspective.  Hayden, ATH, 5-11, 192, Christian Brothers High School, Memphis TN recently received a scholarship offer from Notre Dame, an offer that was special to him.

“It’s the one I’ve been waiting for,” he said.  “Notre Dame is not only one of the most historic football programs, but it’s one of the best academic schools in America.”

Hayden is being recruited by Notre Dame Running Backs Coach Lance Taylor.  The Memphis native likes being compared to another running back recruited by Taylor when he was at Stanford.

“He coached Christian McCaffrey and Christian McCaffrey was an athlete in high school,” Hayden said.  “He (Taylor) was saying how Christian was so versatile; he could catch, run and play slot.  He saw that I play slot, I line up on defense and I can run the ball, so that’s what he likes.”

Even though Taylor issued the offer and the Irish do like how productive he can be on offense, right now Notre Dame is recruiting him as an athlete.  In addition to the Irish, he also holds scholarship offers from schools like Tennessee, Georgia, Texas A&M, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Duke, Arkansas, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt.  He hopes to visit South Bend when the NCAA finally lifts the dead period.

“For sure, I will, no doubt about it,” he said of visiting Notre Dame.  He said that he is interested in seeing the campus, the facilities and the way that the players and coaches interact.  He’s also planning to see Texas A&M, Auburn and Georgia.

Hayden is in no rush to narrow his recruiting down, planning to wait a few months before cutting any schools from consideration.

“After my junior season, I’m going to narrow my schools down.”

Hayden’s father, Aaron Hayden, played running back for a number of years in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers, the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles.  Aaron was a star college running back at Tennessee.  Dallan’s brother Chase is beginning his fourth season as a running back at Arkansas.

These two summaries are just a sample of the Notre Dame recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.

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