Top-rated linebacker picks Notre Dame

Smith chooses Fighting Irish over Ohio State, USC

By The Sports Xchange
POSTED: 07:06 AM PDT Jun 04, 2012 
football on field

The top rated linebacker in the 2013 football recruiting class announced Saturday he has committed to Notre Dame.

Rated the nation's No. 4 overall player by Rivals.com, Jaylon Smith, of Fort Wayne, Ind., on Saturday chose the Fighting Irish over Ohio State and USC.

"Honestly," Smith told the South Bend Tribune. "I believe I'm the No. 1 player in the country."

The verbal commitment is non-binding and he could take visits to other schools. However, Smith, who is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, would become the Notre Dame's 13th player from the 2013 class to commit early. He made the announcement after attending a one-day camp at Trine University in Angola, Ind.

The Tribune reported he was Notre Dame's top rated recruit on defense since Lou Holtz left in 1997. He would be part a group of linebackers that has three seniors this season.

Smith said he picked Notre Dame because it was close to home and he liked the transition from a Catholic high school to a Catholic college.