Linebacking Hercules

University of Arkansas linebacker commit Chris Smith (6-2, 230, 4.52) of Mount Ulla (NC) West Rowan will get a chance to see his future team in person this weekend.

He may have an off-week from his high school season, but University of Arkansas linebacker commit Chris Smith is still going to do some field study this weekend.

Smith (6-2, 240, 4.52), a Mount Ulla (N.C.) West Rowan standout, will be taking his official visit to Fayetteville this weekend to see the Razorbacks (3-4) take on Eastern Michigan (0-7) in a 6 p.m. contest on Saturday.

"I am really looking forward to getting up there and seeing all the behind the scene things that happen on an SEC game day – how they get ready to play, how they warm up, how they get ready to go out there and get after it," Smith said. "I know the crowd is going to be crazy because it is homecoming and they are going to want to put up a lot of points and make it exciting for the fans."

Smith – whose nickname is Hercules - has been impressed with what he has seen this far from the Razorbacks, who have played a tough schedule.

"I have got to see all but one of their games on television this season and I am really impressed with the direction they are headed," Smith said. "I am going to be playing for a great program."

He's got his favorites UA players to watch on both sides of the football.

"Man, I love watching Ryan Mallett and that passing game and the big plays they have had this season," Smith said. "On defense I have been watching Jerry Franklin. He's played great and I can't wait to get up there and help him out."

Smith, who plays defensive end for his high school, and his teammates have certainly made it exciting for their team this season by rolling to a perfect 10-0-record.

The Falcons have now won 24 straight games over the course of the last two seasons.

"Basically it all starts upfront with our offensive line and our defensive line and both of those have been playing great," Smith said. "We've worked really hard, played as a team and had great success every week so far this season."

He made it clear the role he has tried to play this season as he tries to win another state title to top last season's crown when the team went 15-1.

"The biggest thing I have concentrated on this year is being a team leader and trying to lead guys the right way," Smith said. "We are all working hard to get another state ring."

As noted, he will be a linebacker in college.

"My head coach Scott Young took me up to a 7-on-7 thing at the Carolina Panthers and I got the chance to play linebacker and really enjoyed that," Smith said. "But the best thing for my high school team is for me to play defensive end and I am happy to do that. They are planning on using me outside linebacker at Arkansas and I am looking forward to that."

Smith had 84 tackles as a junior with a whopping 26 sacks and 18 other tackles for lost yardage.

"I have played pretty good this season," Smith said. "I don't know how many overall tackles I have had, but I know I have had 10 or 11 sacks and knocked down five passes at the line of scrimmage. My teammates and I have gotten great pressure on the quarterback this season."

Arkansas got the commit from Smith, who also had offers from Virginia, Kentucky, East Carolina and Duke when he became the Razorbacks' 3rd commit back in June.

The 16 hours from his home to Fayetteville was not a negative. In fact, he viewed it as a positive.

"You've got to look at yourself in the mirror," Smith told the Salisbury Post. "I wanted to get away so I could mature. I'm going to work hard and get better at the next level and maybe that will take me to the NFL where I can play on Sundays."

Smith makes it clear he is a solid commit to Arkansas.

"Wake Forest and some others have called and offered me since I committed," Smith said. "I told them I appreciate their interest but that I am going to sign with Arkansas and be a Razorback."

Chris Smith

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