Notre Dame it is for five-star Jaylon Smith

Brian Kelly landed his biggest defensive recruit since taking over in South Bend after Fort Wayne (Ind.) linebacker Jaylon Smith made it public that he had committed to Notre Dame on Saturday.

“The thing was, when I saw it, I knew,” Smith told 247Sports. “But the thing was, when you first see something and you’re so geeked up about it, later on, it doesn’t end up being so cool. I wanted to make sure that’s where I wanted to go. It never wore off. And I wanted to get back to Ohio State and give other teams a shot and see if anyone was better than Notre Dame.”

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound five-star linebacker picked the Irish over the Buckeyes, where his brother Rod is a sophomore running back.

“It’s only an hour and 40 minutes away from home,” Smith said of South Bend. “Just being so familiar with the school, and me going to a Catholic school, that’s an advantage. If I would’ve went to a public high school, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Notre Dame because I wouldn’t have known anything about the Catholic angle and that played a big roll in it.”

Smith is ranked as the 35th overall player in the class of 2013 by MaxPreps and gives Notre Dame their highest regarded linebacker prospect since Manti T'eo. Smith was a terror last season as a junior, racking up 51 tackles and eight sacks in addition to over 1,300 yards on offense. He was named a U.S. Army All-American earlier this year as well.

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