May 9, 2006

Irish offer on its way to Smith

Maybe it was the 40 time. Or the shuttle. Or even the bench press.

No matter what turned Notre Dame from a casual suitor of Harrison Smith to a program that's extended a verbal scholarship offer to the 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete, something the Knoxville, Tenn., defender did at the Nike Camp in Athens, Ga., late last month caught the attention of a certain coach in South Bend. Smith said he spoke with Charlie Weis last weekend and the Notre Dame head coach said an offer was on its way.

"They're up there," said Smith, who won defensive MVP honors in Athens. "It's pretty big to have Notre Dame on your list. They're pretty high up."

While the Nike Camp statistics haven't been made official, Smith posted a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, a 3.94 in the shuttle run and 25 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press. That speed and strength makes Smith an ideal candidate for any program that puts a premium on its outside linebackers dropping into coverage, which is just about everyone. Smith, however, said his preference is to stay at safety and that will factor into his decision.

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