Durham Smythe Commits to Notre Dame: How Will 4-Star TE Be Utilized in 2013?

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 28, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

4-star tight end Durham Smythe has committed to Notre Dame.

This is a great pickup for Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish, and there is no doubting the fact that they've received a commitment from one of the better recruits in the 2013 class.

Smythe has the chance to be a star tight end at the college level. He's 6'5'', 233 pounds and he runs a 4.75 40 according to 247Sports. He's also ranked as the No. 8 tight end in the 2013 class according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Max Olson of ESPN.com reports on Smythe's commitment:

Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton) pulled the trigger on a verbal commitment to the Irish at the end of his official visit this weekend. Smythe is Notre Dame’s 23rd commit of 2013. 

Long considered a Stanford lean, Smythe chose Notre Dame over the Cardinal and made his decision before taking an official visit to Michigan next weekend. 

“Going into the visit, I felt like I had a pretty good relationship with the staff and I was really excited about visiting,” he said. “When I got out here and experienced everything first-hand, there really wasn’t a doubt in my mind.” 

Smythe is bringing a lot to the table for Notre Dame. 

He has good size and terrific speed for a tight end. He'll be able to use his speed to stretch the defense vertically in the seams as a receiver.

He's a terrific commitment for Notre Dame, especially considering the loss of Tyler Eifert. Replacing Eifert's production and role in the Fighting Irish's offense is not going to be an easy task.

Smythe joins 4-star tight end Mike Heurman as another elite 2013 tight end commitment for Notre Dame. Much like Smythe, Heurman has good size at 6'4'', 220 pounds, and he runs a 4.76 40 according to 247Sports. He's the No. 9 ranked tight end in the 2013 class according to the 247Sports composite.

Both players are talented enough to come in and compete with Troy Niklas and Ben Koyack for the starting job as freshmen, but this could also be an excellent platoon group as well. Both Niklas and Koyack are bigger than the two incoming freshmen, thus they would be great in two-tight or unbalanced situations as blockers.

Smythe and Heurman are fast and will both be great receivers, so Kelly and his staff can utilize those two players in passing situations. They're also big enough to stay home and block though, so Notre Dame wouldn't be giving away anything by bringing either of them in.

We'll most likely see Smythe used situationally as a freshman, especially in passing situations. In fact, I also wouldn't be surprised if Notre Dame split him out and created a few mismatches in the slots or flats. The same could be done with Heurman as well.

Either way, Kelly and his staff will have a lot of options in regards to how to best utilize Smythe. He's a very talented recruit, and he'll play a big role as a freshman.

With the tight end position becoming more and more versatile, having options and different personnel to use is a huge advantage.

Smythe will be one of those options in 2013, and he'll create a ton of mismatches for Notre Dame.

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