Orange Park (Fla.) athlete Erick Hayward says things have remained relatively calm during the summer months when it comes to his recruitment.
"I am still at three offers," Hayward said. "Illinois, Southern Miss, and UMass. I've had all three of those for a while now."
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound athlete didn't visit any schools over the summer and has now turned his focus to two-a-days and preparing for his senior season. When the time comes to hit the road, he knows of two schools he wants to check out.
"I know I am going to visit Illinois for sure," Hayward said. "I also want to visit Notre Dame."
The Illini were the first school to offer Hayward and he has stayed in regular contact with a member of Ron Zook's staff throughout the process.
"I talk to Coach (Paul) Petrino once or twice a week," Hayward said. "He is the coach I keep up with the most so far out of all of the schools. He just always is asking me how I am doing and how things are going. We have a real good relationship."
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are relative newcomers to Hayward's recruitment. He has yet to land an offer from Brian Kelly and company, but he has hopes that it could happen during his senior season.
"Notre Dame has been talking to me a lot lately," Hayward said. "I've been talking with Coach (Tim) Hinton. He has just been telling me that they are a good school both academically and football-wise. He has been asking me questions in general and keeping up with me."
Hayward said a decision isn't likely until at least the end of his senior season. At this stage of the process, he does acknowledge that he has a leader.
"Illinois is my leader so far," Hayward said.