Notre Dame hosted the top running back on the Irish Breakdown board this weekend, and Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers back Dallan Hayden saw everything he wanted to see from the Fighting Irish program.
"It was very impressive, it was a very successful visit," Hayden said following his two days on campus. "I learned everything I need to about Notre Dame."
Notre Dame certainly made a strong impression on the talented back, one that rushed for 2,010 yards (8.7 YPC) and 24 touchdowns during the 2020 season.
"Their brand is pretty powerful," the talented back said of Notre Dame. "It was very impressive, it was a very successful visit. I learned everything I need to about Notre Dame."
This was Hayden's second time on campus, but even after a March visit during which he took a self-guided tour of campus, the university still made a strong impression on Hayden and his family.
"I was really impressed with it," continued the Christian Brothers standout. "Campus, facilities, all that good stuff is beautiful. I was impressed talking to the staff and meeting those guys."
Hayden spent time with running backs coach Lance Taylor and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, and the staff gave him their best pitch. It was a chance to not only fill Hayden in on how they see him fitting in at Notre Dame, but also a chance to connect on a more personal level.
"It was pretty cool," Hayden said meeting the staff. "Finally getting a chance to see them face to face was pretty awesome."
Taylor and Rees both sat down with Hayden and showed him exactly how they see him fitting in, and made it clear why they are pushing so hard for him despite already having good depth at the position.
"They say I fit their offense and what they want at the position," Hayden explained. "They like my character off the field, they always have positive things to say about me."
Hayden's vision as a runner, anticipation and decision making are very important factors as to why he ranks as my top back. He's an efficient runner with excellent agility, traits that are ideal for a zone offense, and the fact Notre Dame runs that type of system didn't go unnoticed by the talented back who is also a strong student in the classroom.
"Notre Dame runs a lot of zone and a lot of what I run now in high school," he continued. "That's a big part of what I'm looking for there, it's very similar to what I'm doing now. I really fit their offense. I feel like I run the zone very well, it fits my style."
During his visit the talented Tennessee running back spent time with Notre Dame's current standout duo, Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree.
"I feel like I can relate to those guys," Hayden said of the Notre Dame backs. "They shot me straight. They said ... work hard and do your thing and [the coaches] will find a way to get you on the field."
With Williams thriving as a redshirt freshman and Tyree as a true freshman last season that point was quite clear to Hayden.
Next week Hayden travels to Columbus, Ohio to visit the Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State is the perceived leader for Hayden's recruitment, but Notre Dame certainly put its best foot forward this weekend. Hayden does not have a date set for making a decision, but he did say during our conversation that he definitely plans to make his decision before his senior season starts.
Recently I broke down Hayden's game and why he ranks as the top back on the board, and ranks as a Top 100 recruit in the 2022 class. You can read that here.
Irish Breakdown Content
To comment below be sure to sign up for a FREE Disqus account, which you can get HERE.
Become a premium Irish Breakdown member, which grants you access to all of our premium content, our premium message board and gets you a FREE subscription to Sports Illustrated! Click on the link below for more
Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!
Join the Irish Breakdown community!
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown YouTube channel
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown podcast on iTunes
Subscribe to our Irish Breakdown Rumble channel
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachD178
Follow me on Parler: @BryanDriskell
Like and follow Irish Breakdown on Facebook