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Luers star, Notre Dame recruit Jaylon Smith named Indiana Mr. Football

Two-way athlete helped Knights to four state titles

Friday, December 7, 2012 - 6:07 am

Bishop Luers senior Jaylon Smith is Indiana's 2012 Mr. Football.

The award was announced Wednesday with the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Notre Dame commit receiving 23 votes, 11 more than runner-up Tim Kimbrough of Warren Central.

Smith is the first Mr. Football from Fort Wayne in the award's 21-year history.

“He is very gratified,” Bishop Luers coach Steve Keefer said about Smith. “He tries to stay very humble and is focused on moving to Notre Dame and is working towards that.”

Smith culminated his senior season last month with Bishop Luers' fourth consecutive state championship. He turned heads in that game by rushing for 150 yards and three touchdowns in addition to his usual dominant performance at linebacker.

But perhaps his biggest play of that 40-28 victory over Cardinal Ritter did not even count when he hurdled over an opposing defender while running the ball to the outside, bringing out a hurdling penalty call.

The play did not stand, but Smith's freak athleticism was on display.

For the season, Smith finished with 75 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and eight sacks. After not seeing the ball a lot offensively to begin the season, Smith came on in the second half of the season to finish with over 1,200 yards rushing and 18 scores.

The award is not just big for the Smith family, but also the Bishop Luers family.

“We have a great football tradition and some other sports aside from being a great academic institution,” Keefer said. “Anytime you get an athlete of this caliber who brings state and national recognition to your school, it is gratifying.”