Brian Kelly is known for his offensive acumen, but even he likely ascribes to the old maxim that defense wins championships. Kelly has loaded up on top-flight defensive recruits in the last few years, and the streak continued over the weekend when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish received a verbal commitment from high school senior OLB Jaylon Smith.
Smith, who plays for Bishop Luers in Fort Wayne, Ind., is a consensus five-star recruit. He chose Notre Dame over the Ohio State Buckeyes, although he also had scholarship offers from nearly every major school in the country.
Here is SB Nation recruiting expert Bud Elliot's take on Smith:
At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Smith either currently has or projects to have plus skills at every facet of the outside linebacker position. He already possesses excellent agility, quickness and speed for his size, allowing him to excel both in coverage and in rushing the passer off the edge. That coverage ability is important for a linebacker of his height, and is why Smith profiles as a three-down linebacker.
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