(UHND.com) — Toryan Smith almost brought back some painful memories Wednesday night when he initially picked up an Alabama hat when announcing his college decision, but put that hat down after saying it didn’t fit and put on an Irish hat.
Earlier in the day reports had surfaced that Smith committed to Notre Dame gave shades of 2002 when Lorenzo Booker picked Florida State after reports surfaced that he had picked Notre Dame. Smith put those worries to rest however after he placed on the blue and gold hat.
Smith, 6’1”, 235, was targeted by the Notre Dame staff early as their main target at middle linebacker and is a big get for this recruiting class. While Smith is listed as just a three star prospect by Scout.com and Rivals.com, he was identified by the coaching staff as their number prospect at a position of need early on and that weighs much more heavily for me than how many stars a recruiting service gives him.
He is a physical linebacker who tackles well and has great instincts. He doesn’t have blazing speed for the position, but what he lacks in speed he makes up for in toughness and instincts.
During his senior season, Smith collected 117 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks. He also took in some of the year’s best college football games. He visited Notre Dame for the USC game, Michigan for the Ohio State game, and Florida for the Florida State game.
Smith is good in coverage and brings a load when he hits. He has been told he can come in play next year with the Irish graduating two of three starting linebackers. He has the size at 235 lbs to step in next year and play.
Smith is the first and most likely only linebacker to commit to this class. His commitment gives Notre Dame 24 so far which would be the one shy of maximum they could bring in this class, but with 3 or 4 early enrollments expected, there is still a few spots left in this class.
Offensive linemen Matt Carufel and Sam Young, defensive linemen Gerald McCoy, Butch Lewis, and Jason Kates, and tight end Konrad Rueland are the most likely remaining prospects to round out this class. Tight end/offensive lineman Will Yeatman remains a good possibility as well, but his scholarship would be for Lacrosse and not count towards this years allotment of 25 recruits.