Sunday, February 01, 2009

Local Call | by Pat

We are only a few short days from National Signing Day and it should be an eventful one for ND fans as a number of recruits -- Byron Moore, Manti Te'o, Jawanza Starling, Damien Thigpen -- are all still considering ND.

But once again the attention quickly turns to the next recruiting cycle as Notre Dame picked up another recruit for the recruiting class of 2010. South Bend's Daniel Smith received his official offer to Notre Dame as last weekend's Junior Day and publicly committed to ND the following

"Right after they offered me, immediately I was just astounded. I couldn't believe what had happened at that point. I decided I was ready to commit to this school, I had always dreamed of this as a kid," Smith explained.
The 6'4" 205 pound receiver is just one of many recruits in this current class with plenty of ties to ND, making the quick decision no surprise at all. In addition to playing his high school ball in the South Bend area, Smith's brother-in-law is former ND safety Gerome Sapp.

You can see video of him announcing his ND decision, interspersed with a few game highlights here. For more highlights, youtube has you covered.

The second member of the Class of 2010, Smith picked ND over offers from Indiana, Purdue, and Central Michigan. The list of competitors isn't stellar, but you can view that in two ways. One, Smith wasn't a top priority for other elite programs or two, schools weren't going to invest too much time in a recruit that was obviously going to pick ND the minute they offered. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Smith did attend ND's football camp this past summer providing ND a chance to watch him play up close against other top recruits.

At least one recruiting service thought highly of Smith though as lists Smith as a 4-star recruit and member of their first Top 100 list. (Incidentally, that means right now ND, according to Scout, now has as many Top 100 recruits (2) in the 2010 class as in the 2009 class.) Rivals and ESPN haven't given any sort of evaluation or ranking of Smith yet.

Given the relatively low level of competition in Smith's high school conference, the leap to playing at ND will be a sizable one. It is worth noting that aside from football, Smith has been active in track and has excelled in the high jump and long jump. Last year he won sectionals in the high jump after clearing 6-6 and placed fourth in the state in the long jump with a leap of over 22 feet. He was also a member of the 1600 relay team that placed 6th in the state. Looking at his 6'4" height and strong high jump numbers, you can already see the fade passes being thrown his way.

Notre Dame will probably try to sign three to four receivers in the Class of 2010 and it's shaping up to be a very strong class of receivers with interest in the Fighting Irish. Smith helps get the group off to a strong start. More importantly, it gives the class a local recruit who can always be around to hang out with visiting recruits during home games and official visits.