A football prospect who was Auburn's first verbal commitment for the class of 2006, he originally signed with the Tigers in the class of 2004 as a senior at Tyner High School in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Smith, who is one of seven prospects expected to be on the Auburn campus this weekend for official visits, says he can't wait to begin the next chapter in his life by moving on to Auburn.
The big defensive lineman is hoping to get a head start on the 2006 season by finishing junior college early and enrolling at Auburn for classes in January. However, how he finishes up on his fall semester grades at Northeast Mississippi Commmunity College will determine if he can transfer up to the Division I level next month in time to participate in AU's winter workouts and spring training.
Smith, who just finished his final exams, says he feels good about how most of his classes went and notes that he has been putting in the time to get his grades to the point he will be eligible to play for the Tigers, who will have two open starting jobs on the defensive front with a pair of seniors graduating.
"It feels good right now because I remember last year at this time I was thinking that I had another year of this and it would never come," he says about wrapping up his time in junior college. "Now, it is here so I am just like, ‘Yeah, let's go.' I am ready for it and I am really excited about it. I think I have worked real hard to get where I am trying to go and if I get there it will just be a blessing."
When Smith arrives on campus he is expected to be joined by six other prospects on visits. The group includes linebacker Craig Stevens from Lincoln High in Tallahassee, Fla., offensive lineman Mike Berry from Brentwood, Tenn., Academy, lineman Haywood Howard from New Orleans and Eastern Arizona (junior college), kicker/punter Ryan Shoemaker from Oak Mountain High and offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert from St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Tim Hawthorne, a wideout from Homewood, is a last minute addition to the visit list.
Two other prospects were originally scheduled to visit. Tight end Lee Smith, an early verbal commitment to Tennessee from the Knoxville area, decided not to take the visit to AU. Auburn verbal commitment Chris Slaughter, a wide receiver from Peach County High in Fort Valley, Ga., will re-schedule his visit for January.
"I am very excited about coming to Auburn," Smith says. "I just want to come in and see how everything is improving. I really want to get another look at the campus and see what is going on."
Along with checking out the campus, Smith says he is also excited about getting the chance to spend some time with the Tigers. "That is the main thing," he notes about wanting to hang out with the guys. "I know how to make friends and I am a cool dude so I figure it won't be hard for me to fit in. I can adapt to anything."
Along with getting to chill with as many of his new teammates as possible, Smith also notes there are a couple of guys that he really wants to spend some extra time with on the visit.
"I am looking forward to meeting T.J. Jackson again," he says. "He is a cool dude. I like him. Also, our defensive coordinator here at Northeast, he coached a kid up there, the cornerback, Irons, David Irons. He coached him at Butler Community College and he is our defensive coordinator here now so I am looking forward to meeting him to because I have heard a lot about him."
One reason Smith says he is so excited about hanging out with Jackson is because he says the fun-loving defensive lineman reminds him of himself in some ways. "I feel like he is just like me," he notes. "He is outgoing and he says what is on his mind, you know. There isn't any use in holding what you are feeling in and I him because of that."