South Florida LB Has 22 Offers

Very few people heard of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) North Lauderdale Academy linebacker prospect <b>Vernon Smith </b> earlier this spring. What a difference a few months make. Smith had just one scholarship offer from Rutgers in March. Now, in late May, the 6-foot-1, 238-pound standout with 4.6 40 speed has a whopping 22 offers, including ones from state powers Miami and Florida.

"In my opinion, he's the best linebacker in the country, "head football coach Harold Pearson said. "I had six coaches in my office today, including Notre Dame Tennessee and Duke. The Notre Dame Coach told me that they have seen practically every linebacker in the country and they think Vernon is one of the top ten best."

Coaches who encounter's Smith's performance on the practice field this spring are in awe, including head coach Harold Pearson, who has coached at several division 1A programs including Louisville.

"Every coach that has come through here has marveled about his speed, toughness and his ability to strike the opponent," Pearson said. "He's a very violent football player. There's more to him that that though. He's very humble and he's a very hard-worker."

Right now Smith is open to all teams that have offered.

"I think we'll sit down and he will narrow it down to 10 schools soon," Pearson said.

Smith is even getting the attention of head coaches.

"Miami offered him back in March and head coach (Larry) Coker called him just last night," the North Lauderdale Academy coach said.

This past year as a junior, Smith recorded over 100 tackles and six sacks.

Note: Florida State was his Smith's childhood favorite. According to head coach Pearson, Florida State hasn't dropped by the school yet or offered.

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