Notre Dame lost its fourth commitment of the year on Monday when 4-star running back Justice Hayes committed to Michigan after being committed to Notre Dame for months.
Hayes had been considered a firm commitment to Notre Dame, but on his visit to South Bend for the Utah game, he changed his mind. Hayes told Michigan live that he didn’t receive the attention he had hoped for on the visit.
“I had a better relationship with the Michigan coaches and wanted to stick closer to home,” Hayes said. “When I went (to Notre Dame) two weeks ago for the Utah game, I had no intention of decommitting at that time. I just wanted to go there to see how my team was doing and watch the game. Something happened with the coaching staff. Nothing bad, but I just noticed I didn’t get the attention I was looking for. Me and my family felt very uncomfortable.”
Hayes marks the fourth decommitment for Notre Dame joining Clay Burton, Justice Hayes, and Jordan Prestwood. Luckily for the Irish, there are still some options for them at running to compensate for the loss of Hayes.
Savon Huggins, one of the most dynamic players in the country, has been on Notre Dame’s radar throughout Hayes commitment and he remains interested in Notre Dame. Amir Carlisle, a Stanford commitment, is also still on Notre Dame’s radar and Texas native Cam McDaniel is also a possibility.
While decommitments are never a good thing, the one encouraging aspect of these decommits is the fact that the Irish coaching staff has contingency plans in place and is in a position to be able to withstand the losses.
Think back to where Notre Dame was when Omar Hunter decommitted a few years ago. The only backup plan at the time was going after Mike Martin – a Michigan native who grew up a Michigan fan. Martin has turned in to a heck of a football player for the Wolverines but not having any other contingency plans back then proved costly.
For now, it at least appears as though that won’t be the case this year with highly touted prospects still interested in the Irish at the positions where the decommitments have come.