Even before Notre Dame wrapped its current recruiting class on National Signing Day, the Irish staff was already at work on the next one. Some of the select prospects the Irish intend to prioritize have already become clear.
Put defensive end Tyreke Smith, a 6-foot-4, 250-pounder from Cleveland Heights High School in Northeast Ohio, near the top of that list.
Head coach Brian Kelly and assistant coaches Mike Elston and Mike Elko reached out to Smith to let him know the Irish are coming for him.
“They said I’m next up and can’t wait for me to be out there,” Smith said.
Notre Dame won’t have to wait long.
Smith plans to attend Junior Day on Feb. 11.
He’s looking forward to reconnecting with the Irish staff and meeting the new coaches, especially Elko, who coordinates the defense.
“I’ve talked to him but I haven’t really had the chance to look at how he runs his defense though,” Smith said. “I plan on sitting with him when I visit.”
Ohio State, South Carolina, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Penn State were among the other schools that checked in with Smith on Wednesday.
“(Recruiting) is great,” Smith said. “Many teams are showing love. Ohio State, Penn State, Kentucky, Michigan, UCLA, all of them keep in touch with me for the most part.”
Scout.com ranks Smith as the 161st best player in the junior class and the 12th best defensive end.
“He is a kid who has always had great potential,” said Scout.com Midwest Analyst Allen Trieu. “He has high major size and athleticism. He was just raw but I thought his junior film showed tremendous strides. He is putting it all together and could be a big riser as a senior in my opinion.”