Jaylon Smith’s Goal: Jaylon Smith > Manti Teo


Aaron Horvath (@NDSportsBlogger)

Was Manti Te’o the greatest Notre Dame linebacker of all time? This is a question that can rile up the Irish fan base whenever you pose the thought. Let’s be honest, the 2012 Heisman Trophy runner-up has a strong case to be in the conversation along with Bob Crable, Bob Golic and others.

As always, I digress from the title of this post … so let’s get back to the equation - Smith > Te’o.

The 2014 football season is nearing, which means we are being inundated with different preview pieces about not only where a team may go this year, but also the possibility on whether a certain student-athlete will make the jump to the next level (from good to great, not college to the NFL) during the upcoming campaign.

Former Notre Dame athletics beat writer Brian Hamilton moved from the Chicago Tribune to Sports Illustrated in the past year and now focuses on collegiate basketball and football. Recently, Hamilton caught up with Notre Dame sophomore linebacker Jaylon Smith about what his goals are.

Let’s just say, Smith was quite blunt.

"Well, I want to be better than Manti (Te’o)"

Will Smith get there? If I were a betting man (which I’m not), I wouldn’t bet against him (again, I don’t bet). Smith has all the tools (and the 3.1 percent body fat) to make sure this equation - Smith > Te’o - doesn’t show up “ERROR” on the calculator when his time at Notre Dame is done.