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Andrean’s Barajas makes about face; now headed to Notre Dame

Andrean's defender Josh Barajas (44) reacts after making stop against Lowell during their game held Lowell High School Friday October

Andrean's defender Josh Barajas (44) reacts after making a stop against Lowell during their game held at Lowell High School on Friday October 18, 2013. | Charles Mitchell/for Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: CST1310182126146594

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Josh Barajas called an audible and decided to stay closer to home.

The Andrean linebacker de-committed from Penn State and orally committed to Notre Dame, 59ers football coach Phil Mason confirmed Friday.

“Notre Dame is getting a Notre Dame kid,” Mason said. “He’ll be a great football player there and he’ll be a great student there. And he’ll represent Andrean and he’ll represent Northwest Indiana very well at Notre Dame. We’re very excited about it.”

Barajas orally commitment to Penn State in late March. Family played a role in switch to play for the Irish.

“The process, it was tough on the kid,” Mason said. “Basically, family came into the decision. Dad and being close to home and Notre Dame; the whole Notre Dame thing.”

“I’m a big fan of Notre Dame, being from Andrean (it) is huge that he is going to Notre Dame. It’s huge.”

Mason said.

Dennis Gutowski is the last person from Andrean to play for the Irish. Gutowski played at Notre Dame in the early 1970s.

Rivals.com ranks Barajas as the No. 2 player in the state for the Class of 2015. He is also ranked No. 14 nationally among all outside linebackers.

Barajas is the ninth member of Notre Dame’s Class of 2015.

“They are getting a great kid,” Mason said. “Josh will be a bookend to (linebacker) Jaylon Smith. We played against Jaylon two years ago in semistate. You’re looking at the same type of kid. A very humble kid.

“This was a very difficult thing for him to do. The phone call to coach (James) Franklin last night at Penn State was very difficult. But I think he understood it.”

Barajas is Notre Dame’s sixth four-star recruit in the Class of 2015.

“I’m really happy for the kid,” Mason said.



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