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January 27, 2013
All Durham Smythe needed was a close inspection of Notre Dame before becoming its next commitment.
Smythe, a three-star tight end from Belton, Texas, flipped around some other official visit dates to make a trip to South Bend over the weekend. Before leaving he pulled the trigger on a commitment. Stanford and Michigan were other finalists.
“Officially committed to the University of Notre Dame!” Smythe announced via Twitter.
Smythe was unavailable for comment.
Smythe becomes the 23rd commitment for head coach Brian Kelly with barely a week remaining until National Signing Day on Feb. 6. Smythe is the second tight end, joining four-star Naples (Fla.) Barron Collier product Mike Heuerman, an early enrollee.
Earlier in the process Smythe had been committed to Texas before reopening things in mid-December following a coaching change in Austin.
Stanford emerged as a contender and hosted the 6-foot-6, 230-pound prospect on an official visit earlier this month. Smythe then scheduled an official visit to Michigan but pushed it back a week in favor of checking out Notre Dame for the first time since visiting for camp a couple years back.
Smythe confessed to keeping tabs on the program dating back to his elementary school days.
“I’m really excited about getting out there to see everything,” Smythe told Irish Illustrated before the visit. “They’ve always been a school I’ve been extremely interested in. At the very beginning of the process, really before my recruiting process started, they were by far my favorite university and school. I grew up a huge fan. I actually went to the Sugar Bowl when they played LSU. That was my Christmas present.”
Notre Dame reentered the picture in recent weeks via co-defensive coordinator Kerry Cooks, who recruits Texas. Tight ends coach Scott Booker visited the Smythe family at home last week to secure the official visit.
The next time Smythe returns to Notre Dame, he’ll already be an Irish signee.