Notre Dame Signs High Level Linebackers For 2016


What kind of linebackers did Notre Dame sign for the 2016 recruiting class?

The Fighting Irish did a very good job in recruiting linebackers in the 2016 recruiting class.  There was some disappointment from Notre Dame fans that the Fighting Irish missed on three great linebackers – Ben Davis of Alabama, Jeff McCullock of Texas, and Caleb Kelly of California.

It would have been nice to sign one or two of those player but Notre Dame did quite well with those they signed which included Daelin Hayes, Jamir Jones, and Johnathan Jones.  We will take a look at this threesome.

Daelin Hayes is a 6’3” 240 lb. linebacker from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Hayes was one of the most sought after recruits for Notre Dame.  He only played in three games during his senior season because of a shoulder injury, but he still garnered some awards including being ranked as the number two player in Michigan by the Detroit News.  He was also selected to play in the U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio.

Daelin committed to Southern Cal just before the start of his junior season.  When coach Steve Sarkisian was fired, Daelin de-committed and months later he committed to Notre Dame.  He was a four-star recruit who was also listed as a five-star player by  He is a powerful player who also has a lot of quickness.  Since he is already 240 lbs., there is a chance if he gains more natural weight, he could become a defensive end.  Either way, Notre Dame is delighted to have Daelin.

Jamir Jones is a 6’3”, 220 pounder who attended Aquinas Institute in Rochester, New York. He is also the brother of current Notre Dame defensive tackle Jarron Joes.  Jamir had a tremendous senior season.  He had 98 tackles and 6 sacks.  He played tight end and caught 43 passed for 820 yards and nine touchdowns. He also led his team to a state championship.

Among his awards, Jamir was named first team All State and was selected to play in the Semper Fidelis Bowl in California.  He selected Notre Dame over other finalists Penn State and Pitt.  Jamir showed his athleticism in playing on both sides of the ball in high school.  With his size and the physicality, he can be a great outside linebacker and could also play with his hand on the ground in passing situations.  His versatility is a welcomed addition to the Notre Dame defense.

Jonathan Jones is a 6’0” 200 pounder who played for Oak Ridge High School in Ocoee, Florida.  This three-star recruit was a second team All State and was highly rated buy the Orlando Sentinel.  Jonathan was selected for the U.S. Under 19 National Team in the International Bowl.

It appears that his three-star rating is due mostly to his height.  Colleges like linebackers at 6’2” or 6’3” or more and Jonathan at 6’0” is thought to be too short as a linebacker at the Division 1 level. Recruiting websites state that he combines athleticism and excellent speed with great determination.  It doesn’t hurt that he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.68.

It appears Jonathan is a complete linebacker who has leadership skills and makes everyone around him better.  He was recruited by Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Michigan, Florida, and others.  His finalists were Notre Dame and Michigan and the Fighting Irish won over the Wolverines.  He looks to be someone with great ability whose character will allow him to play above his many abilities.

Next: 2016 Running Backs

To summarize these great players, it appears Notre Dame found a middle linebacker in Johnathan Jones and have two very good outside linebacker prospects in Daelin Haynes and Jamir Jones who also will be able to play some defensive end.  The Fighting Irish appear to have added three linebackers whose talents will enhance the Notre Dame defense for years to come.