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Notre Dame Baseball

Why Notre Dame Was the Perfect Fit for 2024 OF Jayce Lee

August 3, 2022

2024 St. Joseph High School (Ind.) outfielder Jayce Lee had a productive spring and then exploded this summer for the Indiana Bulls. 

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder went from a Midwest recruit to a national name, but the Indiana native will stay home to play at Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish secured his commitment on Tuesday over Baylor, Cincinnati, Miami and Purdue. 

“With all the schools that were recruiting me, I broke it down to three points I wanted in a university and a place I wanted to be,” Lee told ISD. “I wanted a family atmosphere around the team, a good education and the ability to compete and play for a starting spot as a freshman. 

“Notre Dame checked all those boxes. Some schools like to play older guys or play a seniority role, but the new coaching staff said I could come in and immediately compete for a spot and that intrigued me.” 

Lee is the first high school commitment for new Notre Dame head coach Shawn Stiffler as he’s been for just under a month. 

The new staff made Lee a priority and recruited him hard despite the St. Joseph star growing up five minutes from campus. 

“They’re really cool guys,” stated Lee. “They’re down to earth and easy to talk to. All of them seem to want me. I have talked to almost every person on the staff and they all feel the same way about me. They made me feel wanted. That’s something we as a family were looking for - a university that wanted me.” 

It’s also rare for Baylor and Miami to recruit a kid from the Michiana area, which speaks to Lee’s potential on the diamond. 

Yet, Notre Dame was the school that stayed consistent in Lee’s mind during his process. 

“I did give them consideration, but I weighed all my options and Notre Dame kept going back to the top of my list,” Lee said. “That’s how I narrowed down my decision.” 

Lee also isn’t worried about staying in South Bend as some want to get out of their comfort zone and experience something new. 

“People always say once you go to Notre Dame, it’s not like you’re home, but it’s like you’re in a whole other world,” explained Lee. “Being home was a factor in a sense that my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles could come watch me play five minutes from their house, but being close to home or parents was something I didn’t worry about. Once I get to Notre Dame, it’s going to be like I’m in a different city.” 

As for his game, Lee wants to continue to add good weight to his frame over the next two years before he arrives on campus. 

“Right now, I think I swing it really good,” said Lee. “I think there is always room for improvement. The thing I want to improve the most on is getting bigger. I’m 6-foot-3, but I am 175 pounds and I want to get to at least 195-200 before I get to Notre Dame, so I’m a little heavier. Strength just enhances every aspect of the game.” 

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