Four-star junior defensive end Tyreke Smith spent Saturday night in South Bend for Notre Dame’s primetime game against Michigan State.
During the trip, the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder from Cleveland Heights High School in Ohio got a feel for what it’s like to be a student at Notre Dame.
“It was great,” he said. “I was sitting right in the student section so I got a feel for how it was up there. They were going crazy for Notre Dame. It was great.”
Smith enjoyed the game and thought Notre Dame had a chance to pull off an improbable comeback. Despite the loss, he liked what he saw.
“I thought it was a good game,” he said. “Notre Dame fought back but it just wasn't enough time, but they never gave up. I thought they were struggling at the beginning but at the end they got it together towards the end of the third (quarter), going into the fourth. They just need to try and play like that all game.”
Experiencing the game day environment has Smith high on the Irish following the visit.
“I think it's filled with a ton of fan and student support,” he said. “I thought it was awesome that 90-percent of the student population was at the game. That means a lot to have support of your fellow classmates. They’re definitely on my mind. The school impressed me.”
Michigan State and Penn State, among others, already have offered Smith and he has several other schools on his early short list.
“Basically it’s all the ones that offered and Ohio State, Clemson, Tennessee, Alabama, Pitt, Stanford, and I want to hear from some more West Coast schools,” he said.
Smith has upcoming visits planned to Tennessee, Ohio State and Penn State and maybe a few others this fall.
For now, he’s focused on getting back onto the field after breaking his foot in Week 1.
The Tigers started the season 0-2 but have won two straight to restore their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
“We got some momentum,” he said. “I said that we can win states before and I still believe it.”
Smith expects to be back around Week 7.