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July 31, 2010
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Aaron Lynch didn't need much more to be sold on Notre Dame.
Instead, the four-star defensive end from Cape Coral, Fla., used his second unofficial visit to South Bend to reassure himself that a foregone conclusion was the proper decision.
With his family firmly behind him, Lynch gave his commitment to head coach Brian Kelly minutes into his visit, giving the Irish program the elite defensive end prospect that it craves. Lynch plans to enroll at Notre Dame in January and said he's been approved by the admissions department.
"What led me to make this choice is I know that ? it's not just a four year decision, it's a 40-year decision," said Lynch, who announced his choice at a press conference Saturday morning. "I know if I come here and get my degree I can go anywhere in the country and get a job if football doesn't take me that way."
Lynch chose Notre Dame after an up-and-down end to his recruitment.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound prospect had the Irish out front for months after landing an offer, even before he had set foot on campus. He followed up by taking a visit during spring practice, at which point the lead widened.
Later in the spring and summer he began to take some other visits, most notably to Florida and Florida State. After a visit to Tallahassee he stated publicly that the Seminoles led.
A well-timed call by Notre Dame wide receivers coach Tony Alford, who handled Lynch's recruitment, put the Irish back in the lead until another visit to Florida State last week.
Following that trip Lynch said Notre Dame and Florida State were his two finalists and tied heading into his second trip to South Bend. After touring the campus more and getting a better feel for the Irish coaching staff as well as the student experience, Lynch came to the decision that seemed inevitable back in April.
"The people here are great," Lynch said. "Like I said out there, we were on a golf cart and we were riding around and we went past the chapel. There was a wedding and the people out there already knew who I was. They were just yelling my name."
Lynch is Notre Dame's 16th commitment and wraps up a whirlwind weekend.
Four-star running back Justice Hayes announced his commitment at a press conference Friday morning and three-star defensive end Anthony Rabasa, who is from Miami, went public with his commitment Friday night on the heels of his first unofficial visit.
What's more, Texas cornerback Jalen Brown confirmed just after midnight Saturday he had committed, giving Notre Dame three commitments in about 12 hours and four in a day.
The latest addition to the Class of 2011 likes the way his freshman class has shaped up.
"I talked to Justice Hayes right before he committed and he was just saying how it was great to commit," Lynch said. "I talk to everybody. I talk to Jordan Prestwood daily. I talk to Clay Burton daily. I talk to Justice daily. I talk to all the guys. It's just crazy to know that we're gonna have such a great recruiting class coming in. We're gonna be beasts when we come in. We're gonna be beasts."