Notre Dame still has some work to do after getting a commitment from Durham Smythe, a highly touted 4-star tight end.
Smythe announced his decision on Jan. 27 following his weekend visit to South Bend (via Twitter):
With Smythe locked in, the Irish must shift focus to the defensive side of the ball. February 6 is right around the corner, and two of the Fighting Irish’s top targets are still undecided about where they will play their college football careers.
Defensive linemen Eddie Vanderdoes and Kylie Fitts were both in line to go to USC after committing to play football for the Trojans in 2012. However, things changed, and the two California natives have extended their search from the confines of Southern California.
Could either one or both of them be headed to South Bend? Let’s take a look at the latest on their recruitment and an updated outlook for the Irish landing these two key prospects.
Eddie Vanderdoes, 5-star defensive tackle
Vanderdoes, a former USC commit, visited South Bend from Jan. 25-27 to hear the pitch from the Irish team. Irish DT Louis Nix was one of his hosts for the weekend, and he came away with a seemingly positive experience (via Twitter):
Great time out here at #ND everyone's so cool.— EV4™ (@EddieVanderdoes) January 27, 2013
He didn't stop there, tweeting once more about his experience:
Pretty cool that everyone knows me out here to. Even the students that don't play sports!— EV4™ (@EddieVanderdoes) January 27, 2013
Vanderdoes would represent a huge boost to an already successful Irish recruiting class. His size, strength and versatility to play in all three defensive line positions in the Irish’s 3-4 scheme would make him an integral asset and instant contributor.
But was his fun weekend in South Bend enough to sway him in favor of the Irish? Alabama will have the last shot at getting his commitment when he visits Tuscaloosa next weekend.
Kylie Fitts, 4-star defensive end
Like Vanderdoes, fellow Californian defensive lineman Kylie Fitts also spent the weekend in South Bend. And like Vanderdoes, Fitts also recently withdrew his commitment to USC.
Fitts sounds like he had a great visit, too, according to comments he made on his Twitter account following the trip:
Headed back to the airport! Had an awesome time here at Notre Dame thanks to @matthiasfarley !! Its gonna be a hard decision on feb 6!!!!— Kylie Fitts (@K_Fitts93) January 27, 2013
Whatever happened in Indiana was enough to sway Smythe to sign following the trip. Was it enough for Fitts, too?
There is still some time to go until signing day, but things are looking positive for the Irish to get a commitment from the very promising DE.