Notre Dame picked up its 13th commitment for the class of 2018 on Sunday afternoon with an unexpected announcement from running back Jahmir Smith. Smith, a composite 3-star running back from North Carolina was offered by Notre Dame back in April but not much buzz had surrounded him with regards to Notre Dame recently. That changed Sunday when he announced his commitment to Notre Dame via Twitter.
— Jahmir Smith (Mir) (@realjahmirsmith) July 23, 2017
Prior to committing to Notre Dame, Smith held offers from Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Nebraska, USC, Wisconsin, and Virginia. His composite ranking as a 3-star prospect comes primarily from Scout’s ranking of him as the 32nd best running back in the class of 2018. Rivals, on the other hand, has him rated as the 17th best RB which would normally be just outside of 4-star status.
Star ratings aside, Smith racked up yardage last year for Lee County. Smith ran for 2,130 yards on 317 carries with 40 touchdowns.
Off the field, Jahmir Smith is just as impressive of a recruit. He told NBC News recently that he would select a school that would set him up for life after football.
“I know what I’m looking for. I want to go to a school that’ll have me set up for life first other than just football,” he told NBC News. “I want to go to a school that’ll help me be a doctor first, and I want to maybe play in the NFL.”
Make no mistake, Notre Dame got a very good running back and a great compliment to Markese Stepp in the backfield for the class of 2018. Unlike some years where Notre Dame may have landed one big back and then another scat back, shifty type runner, this year Notre Dame has gone out and landed two very good, all purpose running backs.
The Chip Long offense runs a lot of plays and uses a lot of personnel so Notre Dame needed to find a pair of running backs that could both play in all situations. Mission accomplished with Stepp and Smith.
Jahmir Smith isn’t the kind of running back that will make a bunch of defenders miss with jukes and changing direction two or three times. No, Smith is the kind of running back who displays good patience and then explodes through a hole and makes people miss by breaking tackles and running over defensive backs. Watch his highlights below. This isn’t a kid who gets brought down by arm tackles.
With Smith in the class, Notre Dame now has 13 overall commitments and is done recruiting the running back position for the class of 2018 barring any defections. And given the type of recruiter backmate Markese Stepp has been for Notre Dame, any defections would be a shocker at this point.
Oh, and in case you are wondering how Stepp feels about his new backfield classmate, it didn’t long for him to take to Twitter to congratulate Smith and welcome him aboard.
— Markese Stepp (@markese_stepp) July 23, 2017
Notre Dame will now turn its attention on the offensive side of the ball to wide receiver where they have just one commitment – Micah Jones. The Irish hope to change that in the near future with Kevin Austin but no decision date has been announced. The Irish would also like to ideally add another offensive lineman or two to go along with Cole Mabry and John Dirksen.
Shayne Simon Next for Notre Dame?
Notre Dame might not have to wait long for its 14th commitment in this year’s class. Reports throughout the weekend have stated that St. Peter’s Prep LB/S Shayne Simon is set to announce his commitment any day now. The teammate of Notre Dame’s twin commitments Justin and Jayson Ademilola has been linked to Notre Dame for months and it is believed that it’s an Irish and Wolverine battle. Simon is being recruited by Notre Dame as a ROVER.
Should Notre Dame wrap up Simon this week and then add Austin before the season, the Irish would be in good shape for a very strong class of 2018. From there though it could be a matter of producing a turnaround season in order to reel in the elite talent they need to get this class into top 5 consideration.