Devonta Smith wondered if Notre Dame might want to join the list of scholarship offers at some point.
Defensive backs coach Todd Lyght had been in contact with the four-star receiver from Amite, La., for a little while. But without much talk about an offer, Smith wasn’t giving it much consideration.
Then Lyght reached back out Thursday with news the staff was ready to make a move.
“It was surprising because we’ve been talking for so long,” Smith said. “I was wondering when the offer was gonna come. Then it just came.”
Notre Dame joined a field that already included Alabama, Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.
Baylor, Clemson and Mississippi State have also been expressing interest.
Smith knows a little bit about the Irish after talking with Lyght, who recruits Louisiana. But he continues to do research.
“Me and coach Lyght have been talking on Twitter from time to time just getting to know each other,” Smith said. “He was sending me basically academic things about the majors that they have and all that. He was giving me information on Notre Dame.”
Even if Smith has much to learn about the newest offer, there’s plenty of time for Lyght to push his program into the mix.
Smith lists all his suitors as “equal” heading into spring. He’s visited Alabama, Florida State and LSU but doesn’t have any other trips set. LSU, as the in-state program, carries plenty of cache yet Smith says he’s no lock to end up in Baton Rouge.
“It’s the home school,” Smith said. “Pretty much every kid in Louisiana dreams about going to LSU. But as I got older and started to get into recruiting I started to realize it’s not all about that being home. I can be home somewhere else more than I could be at LSU. That puts everybody equal.”
Heading into future visits, Smith is looking for a program that feels local even if it’s not nearby. He also wants to connect with a position coach on common ground.
“I’d like a coach that’s about business,” Smith said. “And a coach that knows how it is where I’m from and how things are in Louisiana. Not necessarily being from Louisiana, but knows what it’s like in my shoes.”