After losing their top receiver commitment the Irish went straight to work on expanding their board. That included the addition of Kobe Smith.
Smith is the higher-rated prospect of the two California receivers offered Wednesday. Per Scout, Smith holds four-star status and is slotted as the No. 19 wide receiver in the West and No. 16 in California.
Considering Smith’s last offer was in February, getting the nod from Notre Dame could be a recruiting reboot.
“It’s a big offer for me because my recruitment was kind of slow,” Smith said.
The Irish coaching staff has done their homework on Smith.
“The wide receivers coach (DelVaughn Alexander) and the special teams coach (Brian Polian) came through my school,” Smith said. “They seemed very experienced and they care about me. Not just for football, but life after football. They expressed a lot of interest on that, life after football. After football, you’ll be a successful person.”
Smith is planning summer visits. A trip to the Midwest is something he hopes to make.
“I’m going to try to get to Notre Dame and Nebraska, for sure, and maybe Fresno State,” Smith said. “I’ll have to talk to coach Polian or coach Alexander about a date that would be good, while all the coaches are up there. Probably July.”
Last year, Smith decided to focus his attention solely on football. Leading his program on the gridiron is now his priority. He had his most productive season, racking up 51 receptions, 859 yards and six touchdowns.
“I was a two-(sport) guy all the way through high school,” Smith said. “I was in the (NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League) circuit since I was in ninth-grade. This year, I decided not to play. I just wanted to focus on football. I wanted to be a key factor. I wanted to feel prepared.
“I’ve been focused, real focused right now. I’m trying to be a big guy this year for my team.”
A trio of schools that have been on Smith’s offer list for months lead his recruitment. After a summer visit, it will be interesting to see if the Irish can crack his top list.
“Washington State, Nebraska and USC,” Smith said. “Those are my top schools.”
Smith also holds offers from Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Illinois and San Jose State.