The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Hayes, who is rated as an offensive tackle but was recruited to play defensive end for the Irish, spent enough time speaking with Irish defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and researching the school he was ready to make a choice.
So Wednesday he let the Irish staff he was ready to commit.
"I called coach Diaco and coach (Brian) Kelly," Hayes said. "They were excited and screaming. The whole staff went nuts. It was amazing. I'm definitely trying to win a national championship when I'm there."
Hayes will get his first look at the campus when the Irish close out the home portion of their schedule Nov. 17 against Wake Forest. He has an expectation about visiting the campus.
"(It's a) traditional place, great fan base, a place where people respect my ideas," he said. "I'm thinking it will be a great atmosphere and a great place I can focus at, which I know it is."
He also knows the reputation of Notre Dame off the field.
"It's a great academic school and you can't beat something like that," Hayes said. "Once that's on your plate, you want to make sure you take advantage of the opportunity. I wanted to end it so it wouldn't get in the way."
The athletic Hayes was offered by a number of schools to play offensive tackle, but the Irish like him at the edge of the defensive line in their 3-4 defense, and he wanted to play on that side of the ball.
"I think I ft into the defense because I can hold two guys, especially if they double team, so it gives me a great experience," Hayes said. "I feel I'm a great defensive player and offensive player, but I feel I can benefit them better on the defensive side."
Hayes spoke about his commitment while traveling home from school, but he didn't have any elaborate plans to celebrate his decision.
"I have to do homework," Hayes said. "I am staying on my grind. I'm going to work and talk to my friends on the phone. That's all I have to do. My accomplishment is their accomplishment."