Coach Brian Kelly received his 23rd commitment for the 2013 class today from tight end Durham Smythe (Belton High School in Belton, Texas). He is listed at 6'5" and 233 pounds.
Smythe committed to Notre Dame after a visit this weekend. A one time verbal to the Texas Longhorns, he decommitted 6 weeks ago and opened up his recruitment. Smythe has now chosen the Irish over offers from Stanford, Michigan, Florida, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, and more.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
247- 4 star (#25 TX, #6 TE), 92 Grade (188th Overall)
ESPN- 4 star (#57 TX, #6 TE), 80 Grade
Rivals- 3 star (#47 TX, #15 TE), 5.7 Grade
Scout- 4 star (#6 TE)
Smythe gives the Irish a second tight end for this 2013 class and yet another athletic receiving option from the position. Since fellow freshman teammate Mike Heuerman is already on campus and Notre Dame will return as many as 3 more healthy tight ends who see the field, it might be difficult for Smythe to do anything in 2013 but work on scout team and get stronger.
Smythe is an excellent prospect with good size for an incoming freshman. Assuming he sits out as a freshman he'll probably have no problems getting to 250 pounds by the time he sees the field.
He's definitely going to be a weapon in the passing game but he's already experienced enough while blocking from a traditional tight end role on the line as well. His combination of toughness and agility in the open field make him a worthy candidate to see the field very early in his career.
This isn't a position for which the Irish lack talent so Smythe will have his work cut out for him. Yet, I like his upside (a little more than Heuerman) and he should be a very good tight end for Notre Dame within a couple years.
Welcome to Notre Dame, Durham!