Rodney Smith is one of the most explosive athletes in south Florida this upcoming season. At 6'5" and 200 pounds, his recent measurables at the Miami combine were off the charts. After showing his explosiveness with a 40 inch vertical and a 10'2" broad jump, Smith showed his agility in posting great times in the short shuttle and cone drills. His performance at the camp, combined with a solid junior campaign, as resulted in Smith garnering 4-star status on Scout.com. He is garnering a ton of interest from schools across the nation, and today he was offered by the Seminoles.
"I've got offers from FIU, UCF, USF, Ole Miss, Central Michigan, Minnesota, Auburn and Rutgers. Today I got offered from Florida State. That is the one I have been waiting for. Michigan, Michigan State, USC, Georgia, Oregon and LSU are among the schools that send me a lot of mail telling me they'll be coming to see me and an offer should be coming soon."
The majority of the schools, Smith says, are offering him immediate playing time because they feel his combination of size and playmaking ability will translate well to the next level. Florida State is one of those schools, and that is something that Smith likes about the Noles.
"Most schools are looking at me as a wide receiver, but some are saying my athleticism would allow me to play either corner or safety. I want to play wide receiver, and that is what FSU is looking at me for."
"I was really happy with the offer because I've been looking at getting this offer. I've been waiting for it for some time and this firmly puts them in my top 5. I think they are very competitive and I can go in there and play early. Looking at the depth chart they don't have a big guy like me after this season. I feel like I can come in and be that red-zone threat they'll need. With all of the guys they may be losing after this season, knowing I can come in there and play right away is big for them and me."
Jimbo Fisher has a history of utilizing the bigger wide receivers in his offense. At LSU he relied on the bigger guys to be his top playmakers, and that is something he is trying to do at FSU. He was at Archbishop Carroll's practice on Friday watching Smith, and soon after extended the offer.
"Coach Fisher came to the school today. He talked to the coaches about me and told them he really likes me a lot. He told them they are going to come after me real hard. He said he wants to meet with me and my mom. He said that when I come up and visit I might as well consider FSU my home because they aren't going let me get away. That made me really happy. It's just exciting that they like me so much and that they are going to give me a chance to come in and play."
Recruiting is just starting to pick up for Rodney. While he has a lot of interest in the Seminoles, he intends on making some visit to see what else is out there. He says that, along with a camp visit to FSU this summer, he wants to check out some of the other top programs in the nation.
"Recruiting is just really picking up for me now. Pretty much every school that has come by has offered me. FSU at practice today was big, and I wanted to show them how good I was. Spring ball is going good for me so I think I have been doing well in front of these coaches."
"I haven't visited any schools yet, and I am going to wait and see who else comes in with an offer before I decide on who I want to visit. I know I am going to camp at FSU, Florida, LSU and USC because I think those are the top camps in the nation. Usually the best quarterbacks go to those camps so I should be able to go in there and prove my worth and show them I deserve an offer. I gotta say the offer from FSU really made me want to visit right away."
With the interest pouring in from schools all over the country, it is easy to see that Smith is one of the fastest risers on the recruiting scene. He feels his ability to be a top playmaker is the reason why all these schools are coming after him.
"I'm 6'5", run a 4.4 and jump 40 inches. I am really quick, and I showed that in my fast shuttle time. I can go up in the crowd and get the ball and I can get separation. I can run routes well, but when I get that down I feel I won't be able to be stopped. I think at this stage I am a complete player, but I just want to continue to get better."
Look for Smith to make a decision after the season is over. He wants to make sure he has visited the schools he likes in order to make a more informed decision.
"I'm pretty sure that I will make the decision after the season. I want to take my visits for sure. If I feel at home at a certain school, I will probably go ahead and commit to them. If I do, I plan on still making some visits. It just depends on how I feel about the commitment. After all the schools come and see me, I should have a clearer picture on what I am going to do."
It is clear that Florida State is one of the top schools on Smith's list, and if he makes a visit there is indeed a good chance a commitment may come out if it. His process is just getting underway, but at this time it looks like the rest of the schools will be playing catch up with the Noles. Stay tuned for more updates with Rodney and the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.