Trying to see top players in both the 2014 and 2015 classes in the coming weeks leading up to signing day, Malzahn made a stop at Macon County High and it was a very welcome visit for a player already very high on the Tigers.
"It meant a lot to me," Smith tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I actually was the first guy. He came at like eight in the morning. That showed me they have a strong interest in me and that I'm a priority for them.
"I have been liking Auburn," he adds. "They are one of my favorites. I know for sure they'll be one of my official visits. They showed me a lot this year. I saw that Coach Gus Malzahn can turn around a program with hard work for the players. Getting more players he can do even better things."
Watching as the Tigers completely turned things around from a 3-9 season in 2012 to winning the SEC Championship and 12 games this year, Smith got an up close and personal view of things on two different occasions. The first was a last-second win over Mississippi State when Nick Marshall hit C.J. Uzomah for the game winner. That was nothing compared to his second trip, Auburn's win over the Georgia Bulldogs. He says both experiences were great, but that Georgia game will stick with him for a long time.
"It gets crazy in Jordan-Hare Stadium," Smith says. "I liked when I went there on a few visits. It just seems like a great place.
"It was wild in there," he adds of the Georgia win for the Tigers. "In that last minute I even jumped up out of my seat. That's how crazy it was. I really enjoyed my time there."
One of Auburn's positions of need for Ellis Johnson's defense is going to be linebacker moving forward. With just two true linebackers in the defense, it calls for playmakers at both the middle and outside spot. Smith says he feels like he can fit the bill under the guidance of Ellis Johnson is he chooses to play for the Tigers.
"He came by my school and told me that he really needs me," Smith says of Johnson. "He said I can really be a great player that thrives in his system and that I had the chance to play early."
With offers from Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt and several other schools, Smith says at the moment he doesn't have a top list but he does know one school that will be there till the end for him.
"I have a few other schools I'm liking, but I'm not real sure yet," Smith notes. "I'm at about eight or nine schools. Auburn is definitely one that will be in my final group though."
Smith plans to take several junior day visits including Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee. He says he plans to be on the Plains on Feb. 1 for a junior day with the Tigers.
As a junior he made 100 tackles including 27 tackles for loss. He also led his team in sacks with six and had two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. Offensively he caught 49 passes for over 700 total yards and scored 11 touchdowns on the season.