Smallwood opening things up

Defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood of Fresno (Calif.) Central is a former USC commit who wants to consider the Irish, should Notre Dame extend an offer.

Notre Dame target wide receiver Michiah Quick of Fresno (Calif.) Central is taking an official visit to Notre Dame this weekend, and teammate defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood thought about making the trip as well. However, that no longer is the case.

"A family issue came up, and I'm not going to be able to make it to Notre Dame this weekend," Smallwood said. "But, if Notre Dame is still interested in me, then I'm still interested in them. They just haven't offered me yet."

Smallwood, a former USC commit, came out with a top five in September that included Alabama, Arizona State, California, Oklahoma and UCLA. Now, Smallwood has decided to open things back up a bit.

"I don't have a top five anymore," Smallwood said. "I'm open to everyone recruiting me. So, that includes Notre Dame, of course."

Smallwood said he has exchanged a few conversations with Irish assistant Mike Denbrock, but he says nothing specific has been discussed in terms of a future offer on the table.

"I like Coach Denbrock," Smallwood said. "Coaches are going to be my main priority when I chose a school. Good people are important. I want the type of man you can let come into your home when you're not around."

Smallwood has taken one official visit this season so far, and that was to Oklahoma a couple weeks ago.

"I went with Michiah to see OU, and it was really cool," Smallwood said. "They really care about football there."

Any gut feeling into where Quick may be leaning?

"I don't know what Michiah is doing," Smallwood said. "He doesn't really talk about it with us."

Smallwood credits his size to speed ratio for the heavy attention he's received on the recruiting trail.

"I am pretty quick and I have a good change of direction," Smallwood said. "I'm big, but I'm pretty athletic, too."

The 6-foot-1, 285-pound defensive tackle says a decision is likely to come before Signing Day arrives.

"I want to decide after the season, probably in December," Smallwood said.

Smallwood is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 18 defensive tackle in the class of 2014.

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