Feb. 1, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly speaks at a press conference for national signing day at the Guglielmnio Athletics Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Prospect Evaluation: Notre Dame Commitment Durham Smythe

Yesterday, Durham Smythe became the 23rd commitment in the 2013 recruiting class for Brian Kelly and the University of Notre Dame. Smythe was committed to Texas up until mid-December when they made a coaching change. Michigan and Stanford were in the race as well, but South Bend will be his home for the next 4 years.


The 6’6’’ 230 pound Tight End from Belton, Texas brings both blocking skills and receiving skills to the table. Smythe can be thought of more as a blocker by many evaluators. Even though he does not “wow” you with his catches he has great hands.

Route running is a different story. He makes some good breaks on slant and post routes. But it is the quickness of those breaks that he lacks. Smythe runs a 4.75 40 yard dash, which is decent for a Tight End of his. Kyle Rudolph turned into a great player at Notre Dame and is now very successful in the NFL. Smythe can be compared to him in size. But strength, ball skills and speed are areas where he has a long way to go.

2013 Season

Smythe is the second Tight End to commit in 2013 class along with 4-star player Mike Heuerman. They will have to compete with Troy Niklas, Ben Koyack and Alex Welch for playing time next season. Ben Koyack has not lived up to his 5 star rating as a high school player, but he still has time. Welch was hurt last season and that opened the gate for Troy Niklas who will probably get the most playing time out of the three. Smythe will more than likely not play until his Sophomore or Junior years, but if injuries occur or guys fail to perform he could come onto the scene early and often.

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