clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Notre Dame Wide Receiver Kaleb Smith Medically Retires from Football

Sad news at a position with a lot of question marks

@kaleb11smith on Twitter

Former Virginia Tech wide receiver Kaleb Smith — who elected to transfer to Notre Dame as a graduate student for the 2023 season — has announced his retirement from football.

Smith announced his transfer to the Irish on Dec. 21. In four years in Blacksburg he amassed 74 receptions for 1143 yards and seven touchdowns. His senior campaign could arguably be considered the lone bright spot of the Hokies’ 2022 season, as he posted nearly three times as many receiving yards (674) as the next three leading receivers combined (718).

Smith was the only Virginia Tech wideout to record at least 300 total receiving yards last season. Notre Dame’s 2022 offense was markedly better than Virginia Tech’s (thanks in large part to current NFL Draft prospect Michael Mayer’s 809 receiving yards), but the second leading receiver after Mayer was rising junior Jayden Thomas with 362 yards. Only one other returning Irish receiver (Lorenzo Styles) eclipsed 300 receiving yards in 2022, and even Styles may be making a move to cornerback this offseason.

With that in mind, Smith seemed like a major addition to a wide receiver room still in the midst of a transition under position coach Chansi Stuckey. The addition of Wake Forest transfer quarterback Sam Hartman — who would have been roommates with Smith had both committed to the Demon Deacons in 2018 — provided some support for the notion that Smith could be a primary target in the Irish offense.

Then there wasn’t much discussion about Smith coming out of spring practice, with most of the wide receiver scuttlebutt revolving around early enrollee freshmen Jaden Greathouse, Rico Flores and Braylon James. Without recklessly speculating, it seems that whatever issue led to Smith’s decision to medically retire rendered moot any discussion about the sixth-year player.

With Smith no longer on the team, the Irish are now just one player over the 85-man scholarship limit.