Former Notre Dame starting strongside defensive end Jay Hayes recently announced his intent to become a graduate transfer.
Among the programs in pursuit of his services for his final season are the Oklahoma Sooners. Hayes announced Tuesday on Twitter that he’ll officially visit Oklahoma for the Sooners’ spring game on Saturday.
— Jay Hayes (@JayHayesNY) April 10, 2018
Hayes started every game for the Fighting Irish last season, producing 27 tackles, 3½ tackles for loss, a sack and 2 pass deflections.
The 6-foot-3½, 289-pound lineman graduated from Poly Prep Country Day High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was a 4-star recruit. He was ranked as the No. 245 overall player nationally, No. 21 defensive tackle and No. 3 prospect in New York in the Class of 2014.
He chose the Fighting Irish over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and others. Hayes finished his career at Notre Dame with 39 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 1 sack in 26 games.
Based on the current outlook for Oklahoma’s defense, redshirt freshman Isaiah Thomas and highly touted early enrollee Ronnie Perkins will compete for an open starting role on the edge. But given his experience, Hayes could arrive at Oklahoma as a proven product and push for a starting role entering fall camp.
Hayes will be eligible immediately at whichever school he chooses.
Oklahoma has been active in attracting graduate transfers in recent years, particularly at wide receiver. Among the notable players the Sooners attracted for their final seasons included Jeff Badet, Geno Lewis and Justin Brown.
This story will be updated.