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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Observer

Kaleb Smith signs, gives Irish third Texas wide receiver

Notre Dame landed their third wide receiver from Texas in their 2023 recruiting cycle — Kaleb Smith made it official Wednesday by signing his national letter of intent.

The three-star inked in his commitment to the Irish just three weeks after verbally committing. Smith represents yet another flip in this cycle for Notre Dame, having been committed to Texas Tech for nine months. On Nov. 4, Smith de-committed from the Red Raiders, visiting the Irish the next day. Four weeks later, Smith offered his verbal commitment to the Irish.

Smith enters with a 5.7 grade from Rivals. That falls in the 5.5-5.7 range, given to “All Region Selections.” These prospects are considered players with mid to low-end professional potential and the ability to impact at the college level. He stands exactly six feet tall and 168 pounds and played for Rick Reedy High School.

Smith enjoyed his best season yet as a senior, finishing with 43 catches for 649 yards, both career-highs. He notched five touchdown receptions and added two more scores on special teams. With six combined kick and punt returns, Smith housed two of them with returns of 95 and 88 yards.

Smith will enter as a bit of a lower-profile prospect in this cycle for Notre Dame. He’s one of five three-star commitments in the cycle and the only true wide receiver. Fellow Texans Braylon James and Jaden Greathouse headline the class at receiver, while four-star Rico Flores, Jr. joins the group. However, like any of his classmates, Smith should get a shot to make an early impact, given the state of the receiving depth chart in South Bend.

Notre Dame’s five returning receivers combined for all of 940 receiving yards in 2022. Without tight end Michael Mayer present as a safety net, the Irish need a few playmakers to elevate their game in 2023. Smith is more of a longshot, but the opportunity is there if the three-star prospect impresses in the early going.