Notre Dame involved with JUCO RB Jeremy Smith

Bob Wieneke
South Bend Tribune

With the regular season complete and recruiting heating up, Notre Dame may be moving in a direction not often traveled by the school.

The Irish have become involved with Fresno (Calif.) City College running back Jeremy Smith, although an offer wouldn't be official until certain academic and NCAA matters were worked through because of the unique circumstances. It's possible that Smith could visit for the Dec. 12 awards banquet weekend.

Fresno City College athletic director Susan Yates described the school as a community college before adding that it would not be incorrect to term the school a junior college. Either way, Notre Dame’s recruiting through the years hasn’t included a lot of players from the community/junior college ranks.

A Notre Dame athletic department official Wednesday identified former Irish running back Larry Moriarty, who attended Santa Barbara City College before landing at ND, as an Irish player who played at a community/junior college.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Smith played at Hammond (La.) High Magnet School, but was lightly recruited in the most recent cycle. His profile listed him as a two-star player who had interest in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska and Notre Dame, but no offers.

Smith, according to a Fresno Bee story, appeared set to play at Southeastern Louisiana, an FCS school in his hometown, but that fell through after a change on the coaching staff. Smith eventually landed at Fresno City, where he ran for 1,735 yards this season, including 375 in one game.

“He’s a fabulous kid, fabulous player,” Fresno City coach Tony Caviglia said Wednesday afternoon.

Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, a Fresno native, attended Fresno Community College before starring at USC. Former Oakland Raiders coach Tom Flores also attended the school.

The Irish graduate Cam McDaniel from this year's team, with juniors-to-be Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant the only scholarship running backs returning next year. ND has a commitment from running back Josh Adams, but would like to add another player at the position.

CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming couldn’t find a lot to fault if the Irish continue their pursuit of Smith.

“If the kid’s a good student, I think they should do it more often,” Lemming said. “It makes no sense not to.”

Below are highlights of Smith via Hudl.

Notre Dame has become involved with Fresno (Calif.) City College running back Jeremy Smith (Photo Courtesy of the Fresno Bee/ERIC PAUL ZAMORA)