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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
TE Smythe narrows list to three

By Damon Sayles

Four-star tight end Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton) has narrowed his choices down to three. The fourth school, which is now out of the picture, isn’t out for the reasons many believe. Sometimes, things just happen by way of coincidence.

Smythe’s top three in no particular order are Stanford, Michigan and Notre Dame. The odd school out is Oregon -- the same team that lost head coach Chip Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday. Smythe, however, didn’t make up his mind about Oregon because of Kelly’s departure.

“Actually, it was really weird timing,” Smythe said. “I made a decision before [Tuesday] to do that. Originally, my plan was to take three visits. I considered adding a fourth, but I thought about it and determined which schools I really had a shot to go to.

“I realized I could only take three visits, and those three were Stanford, Michigan and Notre Dame.”

Smythe, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end, visited Stanford last weekend, and he said he will visit Michigan the weekend of Jan. 25 and Notre Dame the weekend of Feb. 1. Those two dates, however, could flip.

As for the Oregon situation, Smythe said he was “caught off-guard” with Kelly’s decision, but at the same time, he feels the Ducks will be fine if they hire within. Many feel Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will be Kelly’s predecessor.

“I talked to the coaches the last couple of weeks, and I think they had a pretty good plan for this exact situation in case it ever went down,” Smythe said. “If they hire within, I don’t think it’ll be a problem at all.”