You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Irish Insights

  • Notre Dame releases 2014-15 basketball schedule
    Notre Dame released its 2014-15 basketball schedule Wednesday, with home games against Michigan State and ACC foes Duke and Syracuse highlighting the 31-game slate.
  • Irish name four captains for 2014 season
    Safety Austin Collinsworth, defensive lineman Sheldon Day, center Nick Martin and halfback Cam McDaniel will serve as team captains this season, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced Tuesday night.
  • Four Irish in fraud probe out for Week 1
    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly confirmed what many assumed: The four players under academic investigation by the school will not play in the season opener against Rice on Saturday.
Advertisement

Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith continues to grow

Notre Dame freshman linebacker and former Bishop Luers star Jaylon Smith is coming off his most impressive game this season.

Smith had a team-high nine tackles, 1 ½ for loss, recovered a fumble, and even though it went down as a team sack, the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder pressured Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly into a slide on third down in the opening half.

Coach Brian Kelly said Sunday that Smith's football recognition has grown since he opened the season as one of Notre Dame's starting outside linebackers.

"That position is being constantly probed and attacked on a game-to-game basis," Kelly said. "If you've watched the games, teams are in three and four open against us because they can't run the ball inside, primarily because we have got the best nose guard (Louis Nix III) in the country.

"So they are attacking Jaylon Smith, so it's been his recognition and awareness week in and week out; he's learning. He learned a lot this week. They ran some play-action boots to his side that we had not seen before, and you know, he's got to learn how to level off on flooding his zones. I think the biggest improvement is that he's learning football and how he's being attacked at his position week in and week out."

Smith is fifth on the team in tackles with 27, and he has 2 ½ tackles for loss and has broken up two passes.

While Smith will continue to grow, Kelly said he will not consider using the freshman to replace inside linebacker Jarrett Grace, who is lost for the season because of a broken right leg, in certain packages on the inside.

"There are so many different packages that we can discuss in terms of where we can move him. But you know, one of the things we won't do is we will not change his eyes in terms of where he's going to play," Kelly said. "He's going to play on the perimeter of our defense, so how he looks at the football game will be outside-in, not inside-out."

Advertisement