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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #9 Daelin Hayes, Defensive End

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Ready to EXPLODE for his final year in South Bend.

Daelin Hayes
Mike Miller/One Foot Down

And so begins another round of “This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football” here on OFD. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.

#9 Daelin Hayes, DE

Hayes came to Notre Dame in 2016 as a very highly rated recruit and was ranked as a 5-Star by one recruiting service. Those rankings were based more off of potential than anything else. Hayes didn’t play much high school football due to numerous injuries — especially his shoulder. There was some concern that Hayes wouldn’t be able to hold up to the rigors of big-time college football with his history.

He seems fine to me.

Hayes has played 37 games in three years for the Irish, and is a key member of this defense. Hayes was actually the starter as the drop end in 2017, but a ridiculous surge from Julian Okwara at the same position forced a share in playing time (which is awesome because quality depth is KING on the defensive line). Daelin averaged about 30 tackles, 5.5 TFL, and 2.5 sacks over the last two years.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, or Chicago

Taylor Swift “Welcome to New York”

This track from her album 1989 is all about not letting the moment get too big. Or maybe it’s not. I guess I never gave it too much thought before, but the line, “The lights are so bright but they never blind me,” is perfect for Hayes. With his injury-riddled high school past, a place like Notre Dame could have swallowed him up — but it didn’t.

Hey Dog HEY!

Doing our best to make sure you know which one of man’s best friends match each Notre Dame player.

Chinese Shar-Pei

Sure he’s cute and cuddly, but vicious AF when a threat approaches.

2019 Outlook

It’s an exciting year for Notre Dame as the “starter” at each of the defensive end position is less important than the two-deep. While Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem will get most of the press in the preseason, Daelin Hayes is going to BALL for Notre Dame.

Hayes and Okwara were just about even in the number of snaps played in 2018 (536/504), and I don’t have any reason to think it will change much in 2019. I do, however, expect more from Hayes in his senior year than what we have seen so far. He’s a legitimate threat at defensive end, and should increase his production this year. Watch out!

YouTube Hot Fire

BONUS because he had one of the dopest commitment announcements of all-time. A cinematic announcement that forced a lot of people to take notice.

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