Notre Dame capped off one of its best 24 hours of recruiting of all-time, with the addition of arguably its top defensive player since Manti Te'o.
1st-year coach Brian Kelly followed the commitment of running back Justice Hayes, defensive end Anthony Rabasa and cornerback Jalen Brown on Friday with a major recruiting coup on Saturday. And it happened live on Channel 16.
Aaron Lynch, a 6'6 240 pound 4-star defensive end from Cape Coral, Florida committed to the Irish at 9:15 Saturday morning. Lynch chose the Irish over Florida and Florida State and also had offers from schools including Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina and Ohio State. Lynch is extremely quick off the line of scrimmage and very athletic for a player of his size.
Lynch made his announcement live on 16 Saturday Morning during NewsCenter 16's Pack-a-Backpack drive as he spoke with sports director Jeff Jeffers about choosing the Irish:
"It feels great," Lynch said moments after putting his Notre Dame hat on. "I know that if I go (to Notre Dame) it's not just a four year decision. I'm going to do what I can do for the team and win a national championship."
Lynch and his mom Alice spent part of Saturday morning spreading the ashes of their grandfather John around the Notre Dame campus. John Lynch passed away on May 3rd but was a big supporter of his grandson joining the Irish.
Lynch plans to enroll early at Notre Dame in January in order to start college early and be ready for spring practice in 2011. That will give him an even greater chance to make an immediate impact as a freshman. With the edition of Lynch and Rabasa, the Irish are making serious strides at defensive end---a position Notre Dame struggled with under Charlie Weis.
Overall, Notre Dame now has 16 verbal commitments in the recruiting class of 2011. This weekend's fearsome foursome of recruits in 24 hours account for 25% of that class.
Notre Dame starts practice with the 2010 group one week from today.