Notre Dame Football News: Jaylon Smith Dons #38 In Honor Of Joe Schmidt

Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith came up with the idea. After thinking it over, injured defensive leader Joe Schmidt signed off on it.

So, when Smith ran out onto the field for Senior Day on Saturday, he wore Schmidt's #38 in tribute to the guy who held the Irish's defense together during its ascension up the polls earlier this season.

As Robby Howard of Goshen News points out, "even though all signs point to Schmidt being invited back for a fifth season with the Irish, it's not a guarantee, and it's something decided by the faculty."

Regardless of how the game ended up, Smith knew he had to bring Schmidt onto the field at least in spirit.

"How much Joe has meant, not only to the team, but to me, being the heart and soul of our defense," Smith said. "I felt like Senior Day, acknowledging the fact that it’s not about me, it wasn’t about anyone else other than the seniors this week."

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