South Bend native Daniel Smith embraces opportunity of being a member of the Fighting Irish program
AS A JUNIOR: Irish reserve safety before taking over starting spot at end of 2001?recorded five tackles vs. Texas A&M?made first start of the season vs. Pittsburgh?did not play vs. West Virginia due to an injured shoulder?returned to starting lineup vs. USC?recorded two tackles vs. Boston College?had his best game of the season by recording a career-high eight tackles vs. Tennessee?recorded first two career fumble recoveries vs. Navy?also recorded his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery for 39 yards?did not play vs. Purdue due to shoulder injury?Thorpe Award candidate in 2001. . .ranked 11th nationally among strong safeties by The Sporting News.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Irish reserve safety in 2000 . . . saw time defensively
first 10 games of season . . . had two tackles vs. Texas A&M and led team
with 22 special teams appearances . . . made five tackles vs. Nebraska and
West Virginia. . . registered four tackles against Purdue, Stanford and
Force . . . made first career start and had career-high eight tackles
including one for loss vs. Boston College . . . missed USC game with ankle
sprain . . . second on team with 209 regular-season special teams
appearances, then added 13 more vs. Oregon State in 2001 Tostitos Fiesta
Bowl . . . made two tackles in reserve effort vs. Oregon State.
AS A FRESHMAN: Played in all 12 games in '99 to earn a monogram as reserve free
safety . . . played key role on Irish special teams, making 164 special
team appearances . . . intercepted a pass vs. Michigan State . . . made
four tackles vs. Arizona State, three vs. Navy . . . played in secondary
vs. Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Stanford.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Parade prep All-American . . .USA Today first-team All-America
defensive back . . . rated 15th on Chicago Sun-Times list of top 100
national players . . . listed by both Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Dallas
Morning News as one of top 100 national prospects. . . rated sixth
nationally on lists of top 100 national prospects by ESPN.com and The
Sporting News . . . rated one of top 30 prospects nationally by Football
News . . . rated top player in Texas by Austin American-Statesman . . .
rated one of top 25 national prospects by Palm Beach Post . . . an
honorable mention pick by Orlando Sentinel on its All-Southern team . . .
had 112 tackles as senior in '98, to go with four caused fumbles and three
recoveries at Lamar High School in Houston, Texas . . . intercepted five
passes as senior, returning two for touchdowns . . . caught three passes
for 62 yards in '98 as part-time receiver and returned one punt for a
. . . earned three letters in football, playing at free safety spot . . .
three-time all-league pick who helped team to three consecutive conference
titles . . . captain of team as senior . . . made 107 tackles and
intercepted six passes as junior in '97 . . . career statistics included
315 tackles, 12 interceptions, 15 pass deflections, 12 caused fumbles, 10
fumble recoveries . . . three-year starter for Redskins . . . named to USA
Today Super 25 preseason team for '98 . . . chosen for California-Texas
all-star game . . . won four letters as sprinter in track . . . runs 400
meters in track and helped team to state finals in 4x400 relay as junior .
. . attended Notre Dame summer football camp . . . brother Charles is
senior running back at Colorado State . . . full name is Gerome Daren Sapp
. . . youngest of three children . . . born 2-8-81 in Houston . . .
enrolled in Mendoza College of Business.