27 February 2012
In being named a Notre Dame captain before the start of the 2011 season, Harrison Smith became just the fourth player in the last 40 years of Fighting Irish football to be chosen as the team’s only captain for a season.
Smith wrapped up a decorated career on the defensive side of the football for the Irish where he started 47 of 51 career games.
During the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Smith played as an outside linebacker before moving back to his more natural position of safety in his final two years.
In playing both positions Smith feels he has the ability to defend tight ends in pass coverage and he showed it by finishing his career second in Notre Dame history with 28 career pass breakups.
“That’s something that I think I’m good at, and that I can bring to teams, is the ability to cover tight ends man-to-man,” Smith said. “It’s something I did throughout my career. In practice I got to go against Kyle Rudolph, who was a high draft pick last year. This past year I went against Tyler Eifert, and he’ll be picked next year. So just being around good competition and going up against it every day in practice.”
Having to make the switch from linebacker to safety could benefit Smith in the long run as he has the experience at two different units on a defense.
“I think I’m a versatile player,” Smith said. “And on top of that, I’m a guy who’s going to be able to get the defense lined up, recognize formations, make checks and just communicate the defense.”
Tags: career games, eifert, harrison smith, kevin bowen, natural position, versatile player
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