BlueAndGold - Rivals250 RB Dallan Hayden Visits Notre Dame: ‘It Wowed Me’
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Rivals250 RB Dallan Hayden Visits Notre Dame: ‘It Wowed Me’

The NCAA’s recruiting dead period has been in effect for a year, and it is currently extended through the end of May. With this in mind, prospective student-athletes are taking matters into their own hands to take self-guided tours of college campuses.

Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers running back Dallan Hayden made the trek to the Midwest this week to see a couple of his top choices. On Wednesday, Hayden visited Ohio State, which he recapped with BuckeyeGrove.com, and he spent Thursday morning and afternoon checking out Notre Dame.

“I got to walk around the campus, and it was very pretty,” Hayden told BlueandGold.com about his time at Notre Dame. “I’ve seen pictures and videos on the virtual tours, but to see the real-life thing, it was really cool. I saw Touchdown Jesus and took a picture by that. It was really cool.

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The four-star playmaker got his first look at Notre Dame on Thursday.
The four-star playmaker got his first look at Notre Dame on Thursday.

“The visit made me realize that it’s way better in person than online. It wowed me, to be honest. When I saw the golden dome, I was really impressed. I’ve seen pictures, but sometimes pictures can be overhyped. That wasn’t the case with Notre Dame though.

“When I walked on the campus, I could feel the tradition. Notre Dame has such a rich tradition with football.”

Most pundits project that Notre Dame and Ohio State are the two teams to beat in Hayden’s recruitment. The likes of Illinois, Tennessee and Utah are pushing as well, but it seems like the two programs Hayden visited this week have the inside track.

“I couldn’t do much, but it was really interesting to see the campuses,” Hayden explained. “I was really impressed with both of them. I hadn’t been to them before.”

The NCAA is meeting in the coming weeks about whether or not to open up visits in the summer. If they do, what would that look like? These are all questions on the mind of recruits in the 2022 class.

For Hayden, he doesn’t plan on making a decision on his college of choice until this summer when he can take official visits. If those visits aren’t able to take place this summer though, then Hayden may push up his timeline to the spring.

“I would’ve taken officials in April, but I couldn’t do that with the dead period being pushed back again,” Hayden added. “I’m anxious to take my officials.”

Notre Dame has Denison (Texas) High’s Jadarian Price committed as a running back in the 2022 class, but position coach Lance Taylor and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees would like to add a second ball carrier. Hayden is one of the Irish’s key targets.

“They text me every day,” Hayden said. “I get on the phone with Coach Taylor twice per week. I did a zoom with Coach Rees on Tuesday; he was going over their offensive schemes and how they use the running back – not only in the running game but in the passing game. It was pretty cool.”

Notre Dame offered Hayden back in June of 2020, and he’s had countless video chat calls with the Irish coaching staff. The four-star playmaker notes that the Irish staff always has something new and interesting to show him or talk to him about on their calls.

“They keep it fresh,” Hayden said. “They don’t show the same thing over and over again. Coach Taylor did a zoom to show me how they plan to use me in their offense. He showed plays we run at my high school that they also use there. Coach Rees’ zoom was more about the overall offensive scheme at my position.”

Rivals ranks Hayden as the No. 8 player in Tennessee, and the nation’s No. 12 running back and No. 159 overall prospect.

In just nine games during the 2020 season, Hayden rushed for 2,010 yards and 24 touchdowns on 232 carries.

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