IE Quick Take: Durham Smythe

Belton (Texas) High School tight end Durham Smythe, a one-time Texas pledge, has officially announced he'll join Notre Dame's 2013 recruiting class. Irisheyes.com's Dave Berk offers his first take on the 23rd member of head coach Brian Kelly's class.

Notre Dame added tight end Durham Smythe to its 2013 recruiting class Sunday, shortly after his official visit to South Bend over the weekend. Here is a quick look at the FOXSportsNEXT.com four-star tight end out of Texas.

WHAT TO LIKE

The first thing that stands out is his physical size: 6-foot-6, 230-pounds. Similar to the build of former Irish and current Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, Smythe has the ability to line up as an extra blocker, or release and provide a big target.

In the running game, Smythe does a great job of getting a flat back and getting his pad level low. A natural bender, Smythe can handle defensive ends by himself or use solid technique and work with the offensive tackle to double down.

In the passing game, Smythe does a solid job of using a quick release to get off the line and shows above average skill in running solid routes at this early stage in his development. He shows solid hip flexibility to turn, separate and spot up to the throw on short routes, while also having the ability to use his burst and cutting ability to separate from a defender and wheel on medium routes.

Growing up a fan of the Irish, Smythe entered his official visit with eyes wide open and wasted little time in announcing his pledge.

WHAT MAY CONCERN YOU

With National Signing Day 10 days away and a pledge coming during his visit, there's always an outside concern over the next couple of days as a pledge allows his experience to sink in. Did Smythe make his pledge with a spur of the moment decision? If so the next two days could prove to be a time Irish fans should be watching.

BOTTOM LINE

This is another solid addition to the Irish recruiting class as Smythe was being pursued by several high level programs. While adding a second tight end may not have been the original plan in the class, the ability shown by Smythe was too much to pass on in an offense that has used the tight end position as a playmaker.

Smythe brings a high level skill set in all phases of the tight end position and allows the Irish to made decisions on a couple of current players at the position as Alex Welch returns from injury and the move of Troy Niklas from defense to offense could get a second look if the need arises.


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