Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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12 MAY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME In the never-ending c o l l e g i ate at h l e t i c s arms war with facilities, the University of Notre Dame unveiled its lat- est artillery this April. During the final week of spring practice, ground had already been bro- ken to construct a new facility that will expand the indoor space for football and the men's and women's soccer programs. The 111,400-square- foot Irish Indoor Athlet- ics Center has been un- derwritten by gifts from numerous benefactors and is scheduled to be completed in July 2019. The location will be where the current football outdoor practice field at LaBar Practice Complex — just east of the Joyce Center — stands, and it is projected for myriad other uses, from campus and community events to game-day hospitality. A primary objective of the new complex is to augment the Loftus Sports Center, which was dedi- cated in April 1988 but can no longer efficiently bear the demand to accommodate the school's 26 varsity athletics program. The Loftus also is used for recreational and club sports, occasional march- ing band practices and other activities. In the win- ter months especially, it can be used 18 hours per day, including football workouts at 6 a.m. N o t re D a m e v i c e president and direc- tor of athletics Jack Swarbrick pointed to recent NCAA policies requiring schools to provide practice times to st u d e nt- at h l ete s that better promote a healthier lifestyle and allow a more conducive academic schedule. Like the Compton Family Ice Arena and especially the Campus Crossroads project on Notre Dame Stadium, the idea is to utilize the new facility for pur- poses that encompass wide-ranging campus and community events. "In addition to creat- ing what we believe will be the best indoor foot- ball practice facility in the country, we are creating additional recreational, club sport and community opportunities, while also ensuring that the stu- dents on our other varsity teams are practicing at times that allow for a more typical student experi- ence," Swarbrick said in a released statement. JAY HAYES ENROLLS AT OKLAHOMA AS GRADUATE TRANSFER Ninth-year Notre Dame assistant Mike Elston said at the outset of spring he's never had better all-around depth on the defensive line than this year. That was put to the test April 6 when 6-3, 289-pound fifth-year senior Jay Hayes, who started all 13 games at strongside end last season, announced his departure from the Notre Dame football team. He will enroll later this summer at Oklahoma as a graduate transfer. Because he is graduating this spring, Hayes will be eligible to play in 2018 for the Sooners. "I just want to thank the University of Notre Dame for the love and support they've poured into me," Hayes tweeted. "ND is a special place to grow as a man on and off the field. I've learned so many valuable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. "I'm going to miss the relationships I've established along with all the guys on the team. It's nothing but love for y'all." Last year, Blue & Gold Illustrated football analyst Bryan Driskell recorded 450 snaps for Hayes (about 35 per game) to 287 for now junior Khalid Kareem (22 per game) at strongside end, but Kareem was enjoying a strong spring, as was classmate Ade Ogundeji at the same position. "We felt like he had earned the starting position there," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said of Kareem's ascent. Last year Hayes recorded 27 total stops, 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack, and was a physical force as a run stopper. Kareem's forte was his knack as a pass rusher. He finished last year with 21 stops and 5.5 tackles for loss, and was tied for second on the team in sacks (three) and tied for third in quarterback hurries (six). "Jay understands the standards that we have here, and he just felt like a change would be better for him," Kelly summarized. "We gave him the opportunity to come back if he could meet the standards that we set here. … We love Jay, and we wish him the best." Hayes started at strongside defensive end in all 13 games last season, played 450 snaps, and compiled 27 total stops, 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL A rendering of what Notre Dame's new practice facility will look like was first shown on NBC Sports during the Blue-Gold Game April 21. Notre Dame Begins Construction On New Football Facility

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