Durham Smythe

Big recruiting weekend nets Irish Durham Smythe


Notre Dame’s big recruiting weekend wasn’t even over before it began reaping rewards. Texas tight end Durham Smythe, who was set to play for the home state Longhorns until December, pledged his commitment to the Irish on Sunday.

Smythe is the 23rd commitment in the 2013 class, with five freshman already enrolled. He’ll join Mike Heuerman at tight end, giving Notre Dame two capable replacements for All-American Tyler Eifert and reserve Jake Golic.

At a reported 6-foot-6, 235-pounds, Smythe is another big target at a position where the Irish continue to recruit impressive players. As the top tight end in Texas, Smythe played both connected to the line and flexed out wide, a versatility Brian Kelly has utilized with both Eifert and Kyle Rudolph.

While Smythe is the first to pull the trigger, early reports out of South Bend are promising. Fellow visitor Kylie Fitts raved to Irish Illustrated about his trip, telling them he had “an awesome time,” while finding a great fit spiritually.

UCLA commit Deon Hollins also was given something to think about, telling Blue & Gold that he was “blown away.” Hollins talked about where the Irish see him slotting into the defense, with no preference between inside and outside linebacker.

“I told them whichever line is the shortest,” Hollins told B&G. “They like me as an inside and outside linebacker. Football players are able to adjust. It doesn’t really matter to me where I play. I just want to play.”

The highest profile visitor of the weekend, defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, reportedly won’t talk to the media until after Signing Day. But talking to people inside the program, the Irish coaching staff feels good about their chances with the five-star talent, who will spend next weekend at Alabama before choosing between the Irish, USC, where he was once committed, and the Crimson Tide.

Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”