Notre Dame lands a committed foursome

By the end of the evening last Friday, the future of Notre Dame football was even brighter with the addition of three more verbal commitments to the class of 2011.

First-year head coach Brian Kelly secured word from running back Justice Hayes, defensive end Anthony Rabasa and defensive end Aaron Lynch, moving the number of recruits for next season to 15.

“It has to be one of the best days ND has had in years,” CBS College Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming told the South Bend Tribune. Then, on Monday, defensive back Jalen Brown joined the fold and became commit No. 16. The 6-foot, 173-pounder from the MacArthur School in Irving, Texas, chose the Irish over Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Nebraska.

The gem of the foursome, however, is the 6-6, 240-pound Lynch. The Coral Springs, Fla., native is one of the top defensive line prospects in the nation.

Hayes, from Grand Blanc (Mich.) High School, was the first domino to fall on Friday. The 5-10, 187-pounder picked the Irish over Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Northwestern and Iowa. Not only is Hayes an accomplished runner but he’s also considered an excellent receiver, which should allow him to see the field early in his career and contribute in the new spread offense.

Later in the day, the 6-3, 220-pound Rabasa from Columbus High School in Miami, Fla., committed during his official visit to campus. The defensive end, who likely will play outside linebacker in South Bend, had 80 tackles and 10 sacks during his junior season.

Lynch then became the third commitment of the day, providing the finishing punch to an exciting day in South Bend. The expectation is that Lynch will enroll at ND in January and participate in spring practices next year.

NCAA recruiting rules prohibit college coaches from publicly commenting on a recruit until the player signs a national letter-of-intent. Signing day is Feb. 2.

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