Ian Williams was the first Notre Dame draft snub to be signed to a rookie free agent deal Monday night, but it didn’t take long for the next, Brian Smith, to find a new home in the NFL as begins his professional career. Smith won’t have to travel too far from South Bend after signing with the Cleveland Browns.
News broke of Smith’s signing just as Williams’ did – via the players own Twitter feed. “I’ve agreed with the CLEVELAND BROWNS,” said Smith in a tweet before adding, ,” … Excited for the chance to be a Brown!”
Just like with Williams, it didn’t take long for some former teammates and Notre Dame athletes to congratulate Smith via Twitter.
“@BCSmith58 congrats bruh” – Darrin Walls
“@BCSmith58 congrats bro!!! I know you’ll kill it!” – Notre Dame basketball player Joey Brooks
“@BCSmith58 congrats man” – Brooks’s hoops teammate Tyrone Nash
Smith enjoyed a rebirth in the middle of last season and was a big reason why the Notre Dame defense improved as much as it did over the last four weeks. With Carlo Calabrese out with injury, Smith moved back inside after playing the rest of the season at outside linebacker and excelled in at a position he at one time in his career he struggled with. Smith had previously moved to inside linebacker after the 2007 season but struggled at times in 2008 and 2009.
Smith is a versatile athlete who can play multiple linebacker positions and that versatility could give him a pretty good chance at making the roster in Cleveland compared to other undrafted rookies considering the condensed timeline for training camp and lost time for OTA’s.
Good luck to Smith and the rest of the undrafted Notre Dame players who will sign free agent deals tomorrow.