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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Offers "Swiss Army Knife" In 2025 LB Carlton Smith

February 22, 2023

St. Frances Academy defensive coordinator Justin Winters’ nickname for Carlton Smith‍ sums up the 2025 Maryland linebacker.

“We call him the Swiss Army Knife,” Winters says. “He can do everything. He's going to shoot his gun, once the hole opens, he's firing through it.”

The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder added an offer from Notre Dame last week to go with offers he already had from schools like Alabama, Tennessee, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Michigan among others.

“He's got the pedigree physically and he's a 4.0 student,” St. Frances Academy head coach Messay Hailemariam. “His older brother played at Virginia Tech, transferred, was a receiver. Both of his sisters were elite track stars…Both his parents were former college athletes. He's the baby of everybody, so he understands it.

“He was a contributor as a freshman, starter sophomore year and does everything the way it's supposed to be done.”

Winters believes Smith’s ceiling is extremely high.

“He's a guy,” says Winters. “I think he'll play in the National Football League one day.”

Hailemariam agrees.

“He's that guy,” the coach says.

As with 2024 St. Frances cornerback Ify Obidegwu, who also received an Irish offer last week, Notre Dame’s chances with Smith will come down to how they pursue him.

“Again, it's all about how they recruit,” Hailemariam says. “Nowadays, our guys have so many options and opportunities, it's all about who makes the difference in the way they recruit them. That's really what it's about.

“These programs all have great tradition and history. Ultimately, our guys love football, they love to play the game. They're great student-athletes and they have an approach to the game. They love it and they want to be challenged because they wouldn't be here unless they wanted the challenge also. I always say how the college recruits them and how the families fit in with the schools.”

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