Daniel Smith (6-foot-4, 205-pounds) wasn't sure who Notre Dame was going to hire to replace Charlie Weis, but he was hoping for the best. Now that Brian Kelly has been named the new head football coach at Notre Dame, Smith couldn't be happier with the selection.
"I'm looking forward to working with him," Smith replied when asked about his future head coach. "I haven't actually had an opportunity to speak with him, but I'm looking forward to that. Just the fact that he runs a passing offense, that's great for the receivers coming in with this class.
"I didn't know who they were going to get, because I was out of the loop. In terms, of me coming (to Notre Dame) nothing changed, because I've always loved the university. I was just looking forward to seeing who the hired. "
"I actually watched the Pitt game, but that was the first time I was able to watch Cincinnati play all year," he said. "I had heard the hype all year because of their great record. Like I said, the first time I had seen them and watched him coach was that Pittsburgh game when they came back and won that game."
Although there has been some who would have preferred Notre Dame hire another coaching candidate, Smith has heard mostly positive feedback on Kelly.
"Overall it's been good," Smith said. "I think the community is taking him in. Being from South Bend, everything has been positive in the papers. I think everything is positive so far, but I'll know more when I get to talk to him."
In the past, once the football season was complete Smith switched his attention to basketball. This year will be different. Smith suffered an injury during basketball season last season, so this year he's going to focus solely on being prepared to report to Notre Dame.
"I injured my meniscus last year," Smith explained. "This year, I'm not going to play basketball. I'm just lifting and running and just getting ready for track season. I think my family didn't want to see me get hurt again, but for me I just want to get ready to play football at Notre Dame.
"When you play basketball, you get out of rhythm for football. Usually when I head into summer workouts, I'm not as used to catching the football, and it takes some time to adjust. I want to eliminate that gap, so I'll be better prepared when I get to Notre Dame. That's mainly why I'm not playing basketball, but the injury plays a factor in it too, but I mainly want to get ready for football."
Smith finished his senior season with 60 catches for over 1,000 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. Smith had back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons, and finished his career ranked third is the state for the most career receiving yards.
Smith Likes Kelly's Offense
IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories
Irish have unique links to Utah starIf Notre Dame lands four-star lineman Sam Taimani it can thank some deep recruiting connections. The Irish see a two-way brawler in this Opening finalist.
First Rate: Receivers/Tight EndsSeveral quality receiving corps dot the Irish schedule in ’16. Wake Forest, Miami and Temple, however, will have to find answers at quarterback to take full advantage of the pass…
Irish target new Florida safetyNotre Dame has been in contact with Florida safety Avonta “BJ” Crim and has his full attention. The three-star prospect is eyeing a visit and expects an offer when he does get to…
Elko impresses top Carolina defensive backNorth Carolina safety Jeremiah Gray visited Notre Dame on Saturday. According to the versatile ’19 prospect, the interest is strong on both sides.
Irish A-to-Z: Pete MokwuahThe senior nose tackle could aid Notre Dame’s defensive efforts with a handful of consistent snaps each week.