Fort Wayne Native 1st Freshman Linebacker To Start Irish Opener Since '95

Jaylon Smith Named Notre Dame Starter

By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

Jaylon Smith Named Notre Dame Starter


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August 27, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM EDT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (21Alive) - Notre Dame freshman linebacker Jaylon Smith has been a named a defensive starter for Saturday's season and home opener versus Temple.

Smith, Bishop Luers High School graduate, was listed atop the depth chart for one of the outside linebacker spots.

"Every day I see these guys wanting to get better," head coach Brian Kelly said of the Irish freshman class at a press conference Tuesday. "It's not new to them anymore. You know, they're here, they're doing football every day. They still want to get better. They haven't leveled off. They haven't hit the wall in a sense."

Smith becomes the first freshman linebacker to start a Notre Dame season opener since Kory Minor in 1995.

"We were kind of talking about it last night, that switch where game week starts, kicked in at about halfway through practice questioned, and it didn't half until about we got about 10 periods into practice, and then you saw the switch. And you saw it with the freshmen," Kelly adds.

Notre Dame (preseason AP No. 14/Coaches No. 11) and the Owls kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on NBC33.

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