Malcolm Smith (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) was a guest of Notre Dame for his official visit last weekend, but if Smith is basing his college decision on the head-to-head battle he won't end up in South Bend next year.
"I thought Michigan looked like a really, really good team," Smith replied when asked his impression of the two teams. "Notre Dame struggled, but they could have done better than they did, they just made a lot of mistakes. Notre Dame has a tough schedule at the beginning of the year, and they just had tough game. I can't judge them off of this game; they'll rebound. It's not like they're going to lose every game. I don't think it will affect my decision.
"Playing-wise it helps Michigan, but it's different than Notre Dame and I've never been there," Smith explained when asked if the outcome improved his view of the Wolverine program. "They're definitely a good competitive team and that defense is amazing. I have the same amount of interest in Michigan as I did before the game."
An issue Notre Dame generally needs to address with a recruit from California is moving far from home. Smith noticed the travel issues, but he doesn't feel that distance will be a major factor in his decision.
"It was far, and it took a long time to get there, but I really liked the school and everybody seemed nice," Smith said. "It was a diverse environment. It's a matter of me being comfortable.
"Maurice Crum was my host, he's pretty cool. We're kind of similar. It was good hanging out with him. The players were pretty cool, they didn't try to push Notre Dame on us, they let the program sell itself, so they didn't force it on us.[The recruits] were all together; Jimmy [Clausen], Gary Gray, Greg Little and Joseph Barksdale.
With one visit down, Smith has four official visits remaining. He doesn't have any scheduled at this time, but he has an idea of his destinations.
"I'm thinking about going to Penn State, Cal, and Arizona," Smith said. "I'll probably take one to USC if I have one left. I took an unofficial to UCLA. I'll have to talk to the [Michigan] coaches about a visit."