Chansi Stuckey inherited a wide receiver room that signed just one wide receiver in the entire 2022 recruiting cycle. Three weeks away from his first signing day as the wide receiver coach for the Fighting Irish, Notre Dame added a fourth wide receiver to the class of 2023 on Thursday when Kaleb Smith selected the Irish over Texas Tech.
Smith, a one-time Texas Tech commitment, was a late offer for Notre Dame. The Irish extended a scholarship to him in late October, but it didn’t take long for Smith to open his recruitment back up and visit Notre Dame officially for the Clemson game.
In 10 games played this fall, Smith caught 43 passes for 649 yards with 5 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps, playing for Reeling High School in Frisco, Texas.
Smith joins Braylon James, Jaden Greathouse, and Rico Flores in the wide receiver corps for the class of 2023 and complements them very well. Of the quartet, Smith is the most prototypical slot receiver of the bunch. Greathouse could play in the slot as more of a big slot, ala Jayden Thomas this season, but Smith is the more classic shifty, speedy slot receiver that Notre Dame has lacked in recent years. He is verified sub 4.5 speed as well, giving the Irish a bit more speed in the group.
Unlike some of his new future position-mates, Smith is a bit more raw and will need some more time to develop. While Greathouse is probably the most likely to contribute early, Smith might be the least likely, but because he is still a bit raw, he also has a very high ceiling. Whether or not he reaches it will likely come down to how Chansi Stuckey is able to develop him over the next few years.
With a group of four receivers, who all complement each other very well, Chansi Stuckey did a fantastic job restocking a room that Del Alexander left incredibly bare in terms of depth. He accomplished it by attacking a state that the Irish haven’t had a whole lot of success in lately either – Texas. Smith, Greathouse, and James all hail from the Lonestar State – an area that Stuckey knew well from his short stint at Baylor before being hired by Marcus Freeman last winter.
We’ve now seen Stuckey develop young receivers like Deion Colzie and Jayden Thomas while infusing his position room with this impressive group of wide receiver commits for 2023. Not bad for a guy that some questioned the hiring of given his relative lack of experience.
Smith Adds Even More Speed to Class of 2023
Notre Dame needing more speed on its roster has been a consistent narrative for the last 30 years or so, and while the speed difference that used to exist is not nearly as significant these days, it does still exist. Marcus Freeman and his staff have started addressing that in a major way with this class. Smith has verified sub 4.5 times and joins fellow speedsters Dylan Edwards and Jeremiyah Love on the offensive side of the ball in this class. All three can fly.
Notre Dame hasn’t had the most success tapping into the speed they have had in recent years, but that struggle has been more due to some of the limitations the Irish have had at the quarterback position. That is a position that Notre Dame has been addressing as well with the commitment of Kenny Minchey and they will reportedly pursue a transfer quarterback to further address it.