Smith recaps JR Day trips

Chad Smith is one of the hottest prospects in Virginia. The Sterling (Va.) Dominion outside linebacker is closing in on double-digit scholarship offers.

"I have offers from Clemson, Duke, Illinois, Maryland, Pittsburgh, UNC-Charlotte, Virginia and Virginia Tech," said Chad Smith. "I've also gotten mail from East Carolina, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Penn State. I would say Pittsburgh, Clemson and UVa are recruiting me the hardest, though.

"My coach also knows some coaches at Wisconsin, Ohio State and Louisville and he's reached out to those programs for me."

A few weeks ago, he visited two schools. First, was Clemson.

"Clemson did an excellent job," said the 6-foot-3, 202-pound Smith. "They really impressed me from the moment I stepped on campus. They did a great job of getting their message across to all the recruits that were there.

"I got to talk to coach (Dabo) Swinney and (linebackers) coach (Brent) Venables throughout my visit, and it was definitely an impressive junior day that they had set up for us.

"My favorite part was towards the end when coach Swinney gave out his message to everyone there. It definitely hit home with me and I'm sure it also did with all the other prospects. He said at Clemson they're all about the players and that they really care about every single one of their players – on and off the field."

Next, he went to Pittsburgh.

"My visit to Pitt was really good, too," he said. "Pitt is and up and coming program, and they have a great future. They have a lot of young guys on the team and they started a lot of freshman this past season.

"They have something special going and it's a place prospects want to be a part of. You can tell throughout the season that they grew as a team and that the future is very bright.

"My favorite part of the visit was before I left – we talked with offensive coordinator, coach (Joe) Rudolph, and he shared his approach with recruiting and his thoughts about where the program was headed. Also on the way out, we talked to coach (Paul) Crisp about the program and his goals. Leaving on that note was awesome."

Upcoming visits for Smith will possibly include Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Smith has a tentative timetable for his recruitment.

"I'd definitely say I'll have a top three towards the end of summer," he said. "And then I'll figure out which school fits me the best, and which school I have the best relationship with coaches.

"I'd like to decide before or towards the middle of football season, but it could be towards the end. I don't want to second guess my commitment. Wherever I commit – I'm going to stick with my commitment."

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