Notre Dame fifth-year senior end Daelin Hayes has been a long-time member of the Irish defensive line rotation, and the veteran is being projected to have a breakout final campaign.
Street & Smith's College Football Preview named Hayes a preseason second-team All-American in its season preview magazine.
Hayes was expected to end his Irish career last fall, but a shoulder injury against Virginia cost him the remainder of the season and allowed him to gain an additional season of eligibility.
The Michigan native enters the 2020 season with 78 career tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. He was on pace for double-digit tackles for loss before going down with an injury last season.
In a rotation with Julian Okwara the two previous seasons, Hayes now takes over the Vyper position (drop end). The 6-4, 266-pound end is an outstanding all around player that thrives against the run and is highly effective when asked to drop in coverage.
To become an All-American in 2020, however, Hayes will need to improve his ability to get after the quarterback. The tools are there, but it's time for him to turn his immense talent and potential into production.
Hayes will get an opportunity to be on the field with several other talented defensive linemen. Three of Notre Dame's opponents in 2020 also had Street & Smith's preseason All-Americans. Pittsburgh defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman was named to the first-team, while Wake Forest end Carlos Basham Jr. and USC defensive tackle Jay Tufele were on the second team with Hayes.
Clemson defensive tackle Tyler Davis was named a second-team All-American in the preseason by Athlon Sports. Duke defensive end Chris Rumph III was named the nation's sixth best end by Lindy's Sports and Clemson's Xavier Thomas was ranked seventh.
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