Chris Smith

2017 forward Chris Smith commits to UCLA

UCLA picked up their sixth pledge of the 2017 recruiting class on Saturday.

The 2017 recruit Chris Smith just verbally committed to UCLA, he tells Scout. 

Smith, a standout at Huntington (W.V.) Prep, took an official visit to UCLA this week and was at their big win over Oregon on Thursday.

"I've been working on my list for a while," Smith said. "I trimmed it down to Oregon, UCLA and TCU, and I got to see Oregon and UCLA this week and I got to differentiate those two. I was really torn between going back home to TCU or staying away from home and going to UCLA. I went on the visit and I'd been to TCU and I just felt like UCLA was the better fit."

http://www.scout.com/player/200289-chris-smith

The athletic Smith announced in January that he would reclassify from 2018 to 2017, so then a host of high-major schools got in the mix for him. To go with Oregon and TCU, Smith also heard from Michigan, Ohio State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and others.

"I just felt like I fit in their play style," Smith said about UCLA. "I talked to their coaches and I talked to them about my role on the team next year and things like that. Just L.A. and being out there and away from home, I just feel like I fit better on their team. I just know that L.A. is where I want to be."

UCLA is the only school that Smith officially visited.

UCLA assistant David Grace was the point man on Smith's recruitment. 

"I've been talking to coach Grace for a while," Smith said. "I felt great immediately. Coach Grace just talked to me like we were best friends. He didn't talk to me like he was a coach or older than me. He talked to me like he wanted me with him next year. I felt like I was part of the family immediately."

With the addition of Smith, UCLA now has six prospects on board in their 2017 recruiting class. Smith joins five-star recruits Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes, as well as four-star Cody Riley and Jalen Hill and three-star prospect LiAngelo Ball. The class was ranked second in the nation behind Kentucky before Smith's commitment. 

Smith intends to sign a National Letter of Intent during the Spring signing period in April.


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