Highly recruited out of the state of Florida, Aaron Lynch signed with the University of Notre Dame as a four-star defensive end prospect from Island Coast High School. Lynch played in 12 games (starting six) as a true freshman in 2011, and tallied 33 tackles and seven sacks. He earned first-team All-American honors. Following his freshman season, Lynch transferred back home to the University of South Florida. Lynch had to sit out a season while transferring. In 2013, Lynch started 10 of 12 games and led the Bulls with five sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.