Getting to sit down with the coaches and check out the facilities, the four-star prospect said Auburn is definitely a school on his radar now that he’s seen things in person.
“It was a great visit,” Smith said. “One thing that really stood out is the sincerity of all the coaches. Sometimes you go to schools and they try to sell you, make a pitch-sale as my dad would say. He’s in HR and he gets that all the time. There everybody is sincere, what you see is what you get. I could really tell that with my gut feeling inside.”
Already with a commitment from five-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley in the 2017 class, Auburn has one of the pieces in place for the future on the line. Even though he’s also projected as a tackle, Smith said he’s not concerned about Ashley and said it won’t have any impact on his decision unless it actually helps.
“I met him at the opening and he’s my boy,” Smith said of Ashley. “He’s my bro, I love that guy. He’s a great player and obviously a five-star. He said this (Auburn) is the place and that’s one of the main reasons I came down. He was telling me to come down to Auburn because it’s the place.
“Teammate-wise I’m not worried about that,” he added. “Like Coach (J.B.) Grimes mentioned you can always move a tackle to guard, but you can’t really move a guy to the tackle. With the left tackle position and my athleticism I could move all across the line.”
Taking the opportunity to sit down with Grimes and get a feel for how the veteran coach does things Smith said the experience he’s had coaching the position is definitely a positive in his book.
“He’s a great guy,” Smith said. “I believe they said he has 39 years of coaching offensive linemen. That speaks volumes. In 39 years you have to know something and he obviously does. All of his players and the people who talk about him say he’s a great man. The players all say they love him. Everybody says Coach Grimes is really the man around here.”
Smith also has a strong relationship with his recruiting coach Tim Horton. A strong recruiter on this Auburn staff, Horton is a down-to-earth coach and that speaks volumes to Smith.
“He’s a great Christian man,” he said. “His values are strong. Everything he talked about just impressed me honestly. He gave me a full tour on Friday night.”
Already with an offer from Auburn along with Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Stanford, Tennessee, USC and several others, the 6-5, 287-pounder has his choice of some of the top programs in the country. While saying Auburn could definitely be a factor in his recruiting moving forward, Smith said at the moment he’s still in the fact-finding stage.
“I’m not going to really put them (Auburn) in any position right now,” Smith said. “It’s too early for me. Next year during the summer or early during my season as a senior I’ll start narrowing my list down. Right now I’m not going to release any of my schools.”
Smith said he’s planning to return to Auburn again for the Iron Bowl against Alabama this fall.
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