Notre Dame Adds Jaylon Smith, Isaac Rochell

Notre Dame’s defensive recruiting heated up in a big way this week with the Irish adding a pair of stud defensive recruits in 5-star Jaylon Smith and 4-star Isaach Rochell.

Jaylon Smith, a 6’3″, 220 lb linebacker prospect, is one of the nation’s top prospects regardless of position and is the type of truly elite athlete that Notre Dame has had trouble landing until recent years.  Rivals ranks Smith as the 4th overall recruit in the country and the #1 outside linebacker – ie the type of recruit that Notre Dame has to consistently land in order to get back among the nation’s elite programs.

Virtually every elite program offered Smith a scholarship.  I’d list them out here but the list might take up too much room.

In terms of where Smith fits in at Notre Dame, it’s a little unclear just because he is so talented and athletically gifted that he could potentially play three of the four linebacker positions for the Irish one he arrives on campus.

Given his talent and potential, it’s safe to say that Smith could immediately challenge for playing time when he arrives on campus next year but his biggest immediate impact  could be on the recruiting trail.  Landing an elite recruit such as Smith – especially on the defensive side of the ball – could pay huge dividends for Brian Kelly and the Irish coaching staff.  Elite recruits like to play with other elite recruits and by all accounts Smith is already hard at work on getting some fellow standout defensive recruits to join him and the other 13 commitments in a Notre Dame class that is suddenly shaping up to be something special.

One of those fellow recruits, Isaac Rochell, just joined Smith in committing to Notre Dame this week as well.  Like Smith, Rochell’s commitment was huge for the Irish because of what it could mean in terms of putting together the entire class of 2013.  Notre Dame was able to go down into the heart of SEC country in Georgia and secure the commitment of Rochell despite the 4-star defensive end collecting offers from virtually every SEC program.

Rivals ranks Rochell as the #8 strong side defensive end and #88 overall prospect giving Notre Dame three recruits in Rivals’ top 100 – Smith and offensive lineman John Montelus being the other two.

The commitments of Smith and Rochell have given Notre Dame some life on the defensive side of the ball.  Prior to their pledges, the Irish had just three defensive commitments – cornerbacks Rashad Kinlaw and Devin Butler and defensive end/tight end Jacob Matusaka.

Their commitments also push this class up to 14 total recruits with plenty of work left to be done even though the ship is filling up pretty quickly now.  Notre Dame has done a fantastic job addressing needs with those 14 commitments as well and if they can back up the success they are having off the field with on field results this year, this class could end up being very, very good.

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  1. You know the “next year” crowd is at it again over on espn. In the title hunt eh next year? Well then, I like “almost there this year”. Any memories here guys? “Almost there this year” may be a huge surprise for many. Especially based on the golden pronostication “NEXT YEAR” by espn pundits of course. Interesting they say we have enough talent now to win? Imagine that! Let’s kick some ranked teams this year!

    Go Irish!

    Yeah…..without the NFL back field Hahahahaha!


    McDougal was recruited out of Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Florida by the University of Notre Dame, where he backed up starting quarterback Rick Mirer for three years, from 1990-1992. In the fall of his senior year, head coach Lou Holtz announced that heralded incoming freshman Ron Powlus would get the nod as the new starting QB. However, when Powlus suffered a broken collarbone in one of the team’s final scrimmages, McDougal was thrust into the position.

    McDougal went on to become the most successful quarterback at Notre Dame to have only played one season. His second career start was an upset of the fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines, and he proceeded to engineer a ten-game win streak, culminating the improbable run with a victory over top-ranked Florida State. Unfortunately, his lone career loss came one week later with a heartbreaking 41-39 defeat at the hands of Boston College. McDougal would finish his college career with a 24-21 win over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and Notre Dame would finish the season ranked #2 in both major polls—behind Florida State, whom they had defeated.

    McDougal still holds the school records for career completion percentage (.622) and career pass efficiency (154.4), and until the 2008 Hawai’i Bowl was the last Notre Dame quarterback to have won a bowl game.” GO KEV

    1. Why does he need to be the next Tony Rice? I’d be happy with the next Kevin McDougal.

      All this team needs is a QB that can manage the game and keep the defense honest with his feet.

      There is enough talent on this team to compete with everyone on the schedule and if the QB doesn’t become a turn-over machine, we will win a lot of games.

  3. I’m from Massachusetts. I know the Kraft family. (Patriots) They stated way back in the ’90’s with an organization called “K-Corps.” (Kraft-Corps.) Their success speaks for itself. Why don’t we start scaling BK’s (organizational) team the ND-version of “K-corps”? (Kelly-Corps.) Just a thought…

  4. Winning 8 games with no proven QB or WR, and what could be one of the nations hardest schedules would be great, actually.

  5. BK is making great strides in recruiting and he deserves great credit for it. Retention of new commitments is always a concern however all football teams have that same concern.

    I expect more improvement translating on the field this year not 10 years down the road. This is not an adventure cruise, it is a solid commitment by BK to duplicate a 12-0 effort demonstrated at cincy within ND contract terms.

    Flawless execution is always the goal with improvement the end result. There is no reason not to think we cannot win with the excellent talent pool we have now. Teams with far less talent have performed better than
    8-5. So to say we need more time is accepting failure and accepting permanent mediocrity.

    For those who think there is no sense of urgency to win now are not in touch with the negative head winds that will degrade ND football forever. Plan B idealistic or unidealistic conference play is not the answer to our heritage and certainly is an admission of permanent defeat. Personally, I want to kick the convicts butts this year again. USC has swallow depth and by years end we will compete with USC. No reason not to beat all cheaters. We only reward them by not competing them or using them as an excuse not to win. We level the playing field by winning period. Yiddish whiners go home please!

    To sugarcoat by building to perfection at every position prevents winning now is beyond the pale. Ara won big his 1st year with near perfect coaching and thereafter. It is well known average players can win with the right mojo and effort; end of story.

    WE ARE ND!

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