Notre Dame is looking to add one more top back to its 2022 class, and arguably the top player on the board is Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers back Dallan Hayden, who announced tonight that he will officially visit Notre Dame from June 11-13.
Hayden rushed for 2,010 yards (8.7 YPC) and 24 touchdowns as a junior, and he's a talented dual-threat running back that would be a great fit in the Notre Dame offense. He has announced a Top 5 schools list that includes the Fighting Irish, Ohio State, Oregon, Illinois and Tennessee.
The Christian Brothers star visited Notre Dame in March on a self-guided tour, and the visit was incredibly impactful. The official visit is yet another opportunity for Notre Dame to make moves with Hayden, who ranks as the No. 159 player in the country according to Rivals.
Hayden grades out as a Top 100 running back on the Irish Breakdown board. Here's my evaluation of him as a running back:
"Hayden isn't a flashy back, but he is highly productive and has all the instinctive traits you want to see in a top back. The Christian Brothers star is a well-built running back that runs with good pad level and he's willing to mix it up between the tackles. As he physically matures and adds more to his lower half I expect to see his ability to do damage after contact improve significantly.
"Hayden isn't a burner, but his game speed is impressive. He is a north-south runner that can get to full speed in a hurry once he plants his foot and gets vertical. Hayden is a highly efficient runner that wastes little motion, constantly looks for vertical running lanes and he can make moves and quickly get back to full speed.
"Hayden is an agile athlete with excellent balance, two traits that are musts for a back with his game and frame. He's a smooth runner that makes up for his lack of explosiveness with quick feet and tremendous vision and anticipation ability. I love how patient he is as a runner. Hayden gets downhill with purpose, but he won't turn on the gas until he sees the hole, and he does a good job setting up blocks and letting his big men get the proper angles to make their blocks.
"The 5-11, 190-pound back doesn't catch the ball much out of the backfield, but he shows clean hands on the attempts that are made to him. I have seen workout video of Hayden running routes and catching the ball, and you can see he's a young back with confidence in his catching ability and he has the foot quickness to be a highly effective route runner out of the backfield. If used as a pass catcher there's little doubt he has the tools to make it a big part of his game.
"His combination of north-south running, efficiency and agility makes him a dangerous weapon in the screen game, and I would expect him to develop into a quality check down, quick game and free release weapon out of the backfield."
Hayden has a brother at Illinois and his father played at Tennessee.
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