Four Star OT Talks Recruiting

As the Blue Devils continue to search for top flight offensive line talent to bolster the roster, the coaching staff is blanketing the state and region heavily with offers to many of the area's top prospects. One of those is four star OT Donovan Smith.

"I had a chance to speak to Coach Roper a week ago," said Owings Mills (Md.) High standout Donovan Smith. "I haven't gotten a chance to really know the Duke staff aside from him at this point, but I am looking forward to meeting and speaking with Coach Cutcliffe."

Rated as a four star prospect and the nation's No. 23 offensive tackle, Smith has a host of offers from the usual suspects of powerhouse programs. Schools such as Penn State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Cincinnati, UCLA, Rutgers, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Buffalo, Syracuse, New Mexico and Michigan State have all thrown their hats in the ring with offers. With so many options, Smith says he's going to slow down his pace.

"I haven't made at top list yet because I am still being recruited by a lot of schools. Since the Spring Evaluation period began about 20 schools have been by to see my coach and watch me workout. I believe I will be getting a few more offers by the end of the month so I will sit down with my family see which ones fit best."

One of the things that will define a "fit" for Smith will not include location, though there are some other factors he's going to keep in mind as he progresses through the process.

"My three biggest factors are academics, the opportunity to play early, and the coaching staff. Location is not a factor. I'm not going to rule out an excellent school because of the location or distance away from home"

With such an approach Smith is going to begin making visits in the next couple of weeks. During that time the 6-foot-7, 275 pound prospect says he's going to make a trip to Durham.

"I haven't had a chance to visit the [Duke] campus yet, but I do plan on going there on my southern trip. I am also hoping to visit North Carolina and East Carolina as well."

During such a trip and visit, Smith says he's expecting to hear and see much more regarding the Duke coach recruiting approach and pitch which, to date, he has taken notice of.

"Coach Roper told me not to read into the past and that the program is getting better each and every year. He told me they are very excited about me and how I can help them head in the right direction. He's definitely emphasizing how much a Duke degree means in the real world and how far it would take me. He also reiterated that I could be a huge piece of the puzzle they are building."

The Blue Devils' interest stems not only from Smith's film, but also his potential. He describes himself as follows:

"Coaches tell me they love my footwork and the ability to keep up with the speed rushers. On the other end, I would like to get a lot bigger and stronger. I'm at 275 now. I would love to put on about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle."

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