An Early Look at Notre Dame’s 2014 Commitments

After an impressive 2013 recruiting class it would be easy for Brian Kelly and Co. to step back and enjoy their recent success, but college recruiting will just not allow that. The pursuit of talented young men who have the potential to impact a program on a national level has become a year-long process, and one that never ends. The whole staff understands that recruiting consistency is the lifeline of a program and what allows a successful program to be sustainable. While Irish fans have the luxury of sitting around trying to figure out what Freshmen could have an impact in 2013 immediately, the Notre Dame coaching staff is already filling out their white board with 2014 prospects. As of now, the Irish have 4 hard commits for next year, and we figured it was never too early to start getting excited about what could be in store for Notre Dame come next February.

Jay Hayes – DT 4* (Poly Prep – Brooklyn, NY)

This young man has emphatically made it known that he is committed to the Irish program, and has done so without ever stepping one foot on campus. As a Junior, the 6’5 270 lb defensive tackle has thrust his name into the spotlight, and most major college programs have taken notice. With offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oregon, amongst others, Hayes is 100% committed to Notre Dame, and Irish fans have Bob Diaco to thank for that. When Hayes discussed his commitment to the Irish, he explained that the Irish approached him in a professional manner, and he loved that.  He stated that he is all about getting down to work, both on the field and in the classroom, and when comparing the other schools, not one of them could offer the combination of the two, like the University of Notre Dame could. We would imagine that Hayes will add weight in muscle over his Senior year, but hopefully will retain the speed and quickness that makes him such a disruptive force on the defensive line.



Greer Martini – OLB 4* (Woodberry Forest – Woodberry Forest, VA)

After attending one of Notre Dame’s camps, Martini left with an offer to play football for the Irish, and after talking to his parents, the decision to pick Notre Dame was made. While not receiving quite the fanfare that Jay Hayes has, the 6’3 210 LB from Virginia still had offers from Maryland and North Carolina State, with interest from Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Alabama. Martini’s game seems more suited for the Will position, as he has a nose for the ball, and can really cover the passing lanes and out in the flat. He seemingly has great instincts, and reads the opponents QB well, while possessing the
speed to cover the pass, and has shown the ability to attack the edge with success also. While in no way are we comparing him to Wilbur Marshall of the Chicago Bears back in the 80’s, his game definitely resembles that type of style.



Justin Brent – Wide Receiver 3* (Speedway – Indianapolis, IN)

Although Brent never took an official visit to South Bend, the unofficial one he did take, was enough to convince him that Notre Dame is where he wanted to play. While having no official offers from anyone else, he was receiving interest from Cincinnati, Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. The 6’3 190 lb WR out of Indy picked the Irish because they were the first school to take notice, to visit, and to offer.  Being close to home was another factor that played into the decision, as his family would be close enough to see him play. In 2012, the Junior had 54 receptions, for 994 yards, and 13 touchdowns. While he doesn’t possess blinding speed, he has very soft hands, and can be very elusive with the ball in his hands. He also seems to understand how to use his size as an advantage and position himself, which is a great sign so early in his career. The fact he is another recruit from Indiana is also a good sign, as Brian Kelly seems to understand the importance of recruiting both on a national level, and locally also.



Jimmy Byrne – OL 3* ( St Ignatius – Cleveland, OH)

Already an impressive figure at 6’4 275lb as just a Junior, chances are by the time Irish verbal commit hits South Bend in 2014, he could be close to 6’5 and almost 300lbs. The Irish keep adding size and strength to their offensive line in impressive fashion, and it looks like that trend will continue with the verbal from the St. Ignatius 2014 prospect. While Byrne had offers from Michigan State, West Virginia, and in-state power Ohio State, it was the offer from the Irish that grabbed his attention. In watching his video, Byrne looks to do a very good job of getting inside his man and controlling the direction of the run block, and looks to have enough speed and quickness to maintain and recover during pass blocking. The Junior looks to possess good overall balance and seems to be a high energy guy that doesn’t quit until he knows the play is dead. The one small concern we did have was his footwork, but keep in mind the young man is just a Junior, and obviously has time to grow and develop.



We understand most people are still excited about the recent class of commitments for 2013, as they should be, but recruiting never stops, and a coaching staff can’t afford to either. The Irish seem to have a very strong start to the class of 2014, and it will be just as exciting to see what kind of front-line talent and depth they can add over the next 11 months. In the upcoming weeks we will take a look at some of the offers the Irish currently have out there, and see which way they may be leaning.

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  1. In article on the Bama players being barred form campus on espn look at the comments left by people at end of article. Hate asking you to go on, but it might be worth it. A guy named bama blood says some of the stupidest things i have ever seen and must post a hundred times. He must have nothing better to do, unless he is Saban’s brother or something. After reading i have come to the conclusion that people like him can’t be reasoned with and that he needs a hug bad. Just seems like an angry dude. It does make you angry, so i see your point Steel Fan. Oh well every crowd has them.

  2. Steel Fan, i hope tim brown didn’t hurt his chances with all the super bowl talk, but you are right, they both belong.

  3. Last thing about this so we can get back to fun and games.

    I want to be very clear that I’m not saying all WASPs are bigots. We may well have some Protestants here who are loyal ND supporters and who are not anti-Catholic at all. In fact, many Protestants and Evangelicals freely acknowledge their debt to the Catholic Church for their core creeds and beliefs, including the canon of the NT. In fact, I encourage those who are interested to go online and find the video of a discussion between Drs. Francis Beckwith (Catholic) and Timothy George (Southern Baptist) to see an example of intelligent and charitable inter-Christian dialog.

    What I am saying is that it is terribly naive to think that hatred of ND and its football team is simply a matter of athletic tastes. It’s far more sociologically complex than that, involving ND’s Catholicism. Recall that the KKK tried to burn down ND some time in the early 20th c. Also recall that Fielding Yoast and other anti-Catholic bigots refused to allow ND to play in their conference. (Don’t fail to remind people of that history next time someone asks why ND isn’t in a conference!) I know C-Dog has also alluded to some of this from time to time and needless to say I agree.

    ND for better or for worse has represented Catholics and the Church in the USA. It has done so for over a century. Don’t think for a second that those who hate the Catholic Church are impartial about ND football.

  4. St. Pat,

    What gets to me is the hypocrisy of a society that wants to be PC on everything except bashing Christians generally and Catholics in particular. What bothers me even more is when Christians do it to each other. Except, of course, the bigots that bash ND and what it stands for don’t think the Catholic Church is Christian. Therefore, according to these hate mongers, none of the verses brother “duranko” cited would apply to ND or Catholics. According to their theology, those verses were said by Christ to His followers; since the Catholic Church isn’t Christian it can’t be persecuted for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom or for the sake of Christ Himself. That’s what bothers me.

    Do you think I care about name-calling over a football game?! It’s fun to throw down against anti-ND trolls on here. But in the end it doesn’t really matter. It’s all a game, like the football games themselves, that in the end, are just that–games.

    What matters is speaking up when a group of brethren are demonized and their beliefs caricatured. To not get upset about the things said about the Church is to ignore our obligation to speak truth to power embodied in the prophets of both testaments. Needless to say, for every verse cited by our dear brother “duranko” about turning the other cheek (he forgot that one!) I could cite a dozen more about standing up for the truth and for the sake of righteousness. (BTW: That futile and often vain exercise of proof-texting is frowned upon by Catholic theologians who realize that the Bible is an organic whole not meant to have verses plucked out in isolation. We all know that cults are fond of quoting pet Bible verses to prove all kinds of things!)

    Speaking the truth and defending righteousness are also a part of our job description for about 2,000 years. You’re either signed up to exercise you prophetic right in Christ or you ain’t! In fact, being persecuted for righteousness and speaking the truth often go together, so this isn’t a matter of my exegesis versus brother “duranko’s.” Catholic theology is both and rather than either or.

    Pax vobiscum.

    PS: Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown both deserve to be in the NFL Hall of Fame!

  5. It is a part of a true Christian’s job description to be mocked and reviled.

    Who said so? this guy:

    “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs
    is the kingdom of heaven.

    “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kind of evil against you FALSELY (emphasis added)for My sake>”

    And once more
    “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    Again, it’s part of the job description, and has been, for oh, 2,000 years
    give or take a generation.

    You’re either signed up or you ain’t. I can’t decide for you.

  6. st. pat,

    No doubt you’re right. But my point isn’t that some stupid kid at the NC made obnoxious or obscene comments during the heat of the game.

    I’m referring to the amount of classless ND haters who purposefully go on to ND sites here or elsewhere to badmouth ND. And if their comments were limited to just football, that would almost be acceptable. But no. Their comments, however, are full of rank hatred for ND and its Catholic heritage. You don’t have to read too much between the lines to realize that these are mostly WASP bigots. The last acceptable prejudice in this country is anti-Catholicism (believe me, I’ve been on both sides!). If some of the things that are being said about the pope were said about Pres. Obama the media would go crazy with allegations of bigotry and racism. But because it’s about the pope, well, then, it’s OK. (BTW: I’m neither pro- nor anti-Obama, and I’m also not blind to the errors of this papacy; my point is that the bigoted rhetoric against the pope and the Church is evidence that anti-Catholicism is alive and well.)

    1. Valid points Steel Fan, but these fans obviously want to get to you. Wouldn’t even give them a second thought. Go Irish but i can’t say the same about the Steelers ever since Jerome left. All in good Fun. Go Irish

  7. Every crowd has class and trash. Can’t take it personal. Went to mighigan game this year with my 84 year old grandma, whose husband who was class of 42 at nd. Young kid in front of me showed no class, dropping f-bombs the whole time. I know you have to expect some rift raft, but it almost ruined my grandma’s night. I had to ask him to stop, which i didnt exactly like doing. He is also a paying customer, and i realize that. Was my first time experiencing this type of behavior from an nd fan. It made me laugh knowing what my World War II veteran grandfather would have done to the kid. It doesn’t mean that all nd fans are this way, i just happen to find the one. Like they say you can’t pick your family, and in a way I consider all nd fans family. All schools have good and bad. Go Irish

  8. Lot of upset people around here, as they should be. But, make no mistake about it, Bama is a classy group of people. I have no problem with their success, as long as they are not playing ND. Would love another shot at them next year, when we will know what to expect. GO IRISH!

    1. NDinBama,

      Perhaps you’re right, although it would’ve been hard to say that “Bama is a classy group of people” based on the comments of trolls here and on other sites before, during, and after the NC game.

      Were you following any of the threads here prior to the NC game in which alleged Bama fans were downright insulting? Have you read the remarks about T’eo and ND as a result of the girlfriend hoax from Bama supporters? Even now, the Pope’s resignation is reason enough for Southern bigots to attack ND and its Catholic beliefs. (BTW: Nick Saban is a practicing Catholic and has funded the building of the local campus church.) Given the number of Baptists in Alabama and the bigotry of that denomination’s history (as well as its present, witness Westboro Baptist in KS), the “good people of Bama” shouldn’t be looking at the speck in someone else’s eye before removing the log firmly planted in their own!

  9. Gotta have some hoosier representation. Yes; national recruiting rankings are important, but I’d like to see some more Indiana recruits on ND’s list than just Jaylon Smith.

  10. Notre Dame’s job is to take thehigh moral ground and maintain it. You get no plaudits for executing your job description.

    Further, “Judge not that you be not judged, For with what judgment you
    judge, you will be judged: and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” I’m fairly certain that the speaker of that moral wisdom has His mother on top of the campus Golden Dome.

    Further, 42-14.

    Further, on this Ash Wednesday “Memento Homo, quia pulvus es et in pulverem reverteris.”

  11. College kids can be extremely dumb,as you can see. Let’s start focusing on what happens on the field,every school has problems, even nd. Other schools might have more, but does it really matter. I could care less what Alabama does off the field, it will never change. All that matters is that nd tries it’s hardest to bring in the best people and football players possible on and off the field. Talking down on other schools players makes us look just as stupid. We are nd let’s set the standard, not lower ourselves to talking about college kids getting in trouble at other schools. Take pride in our school quietly. We all get in a little trouble in college, just some worse than others. Remember WE ARE ND

    1. Sorry pope, people looking stupid on this board is great entertainment. What would we all do withouth the daily nonsense.

      1. RB,

        “What would we all do without the daily nonsense”?

        There’s always the finals at the Westminster Kennel Club!

        This years champion… Banana Joe, is a real freak of nature!

        Looks like the Wolfman from those old monster movies.

        Wouldn’t be surprised if some school adopted his breed as their mascot.

        I could see it now… “The Fighting Affenpinschers!

  12. We know who we are and we get real student athletes. Could not have been prouder of BK and the coaches for bringing in quality people that will represent our values…GO IRISH

      1. Calm-down / just goofing’ – humor intended to show the ridicule of the whole thing.

    1. I feel sorry for those kids…
      They get all hopped up and hooked on Antler dust and deer piss during the season, then they find out that they can’t do without it!

      A mind is a terrible thing to waste!

      Instead of their motto being Roll Tide, it should be…

      “Just say no”

  13. Just get peppers! Kid is amazing, best prospect in the country. Hear we trail now,but it’s early. Smart kid too, hear Stanford is in the running. Academics mean something to him, which is a good sign. Diaco recruits jersey, and will have to make a great impression. Don’t know if he is better on offense or defense, just dynamic, a game changer on both sides. Watch his tape!

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