Rodney Smith is one of the top wide receivers in south Florida for the 2009 recruiting size. With great size and speed, the talented Smith put himself on the recruiting map last year as he helped Archbishop Carroll make a deep run in the playoffs. Smith's solid junior season led to several offers early on in the process, but he saw his offer list grow exponentially during the spring evaluation period.
"Recruiting has been going well for me as I am up to 25 offers now. Purdue, Wake Forest and Boston College are my latest offers. The offer from Boston College is interesting. They think I am one of the best in Florida this year. They think I am a red-zone threat and that I am better than some of the players on their team now. They think I can come in and play early."
"In all I think 30 schools came to see me during spring. My coach told me that I should expect it, so I wasn't too shocked to see all of the college coaches come see me. Really I was and still am trying to take it all in."
The fact that Smith is on of the top playmakers in Florida this year has allowed him the right to be recruited by some of the top programs in the nation. Schools like Miami, Ohio State and Notre Dame are beginning to enter the picture, and Smith says they are programs that he may consider.
"Miami and Ohio State are talking to me. Miami wants me to come to camp there to show them what I can do. They're saying they are going to only offer 5 receivers, but that I am going to be one of them. Ohio State's been telling me they want to breakdown my film more and then they'll go from there. Notre Dame has been talking about offering. They are waiting on my ACT scores. I feel like if they really wanted me they'd offer, so I am focusing on the schools that are looking at me. I'm considering every school still. The ones that are coming at me really hard are Florida State, Boston College, Tennessee, USF, UCF, Ole Miss and Auburn."
Florida State coaches have made Rodney a high priority for this class. Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher told him when they offered that they don't plan on letting him go anywhere but FSU; that comment was something that Smith really liked. According to Smith FSU is still at the top of his list.
"With FSU, when I break everything down and look at a top 5 they are a school that is in it. I really like them a lot. I am going to go there this summer, but I don't know if it'll be a camp or just a visit. I've talked to Coach Fisher a couple times and to Coach Amato. He's was telling me how they really like me and all that. Coach Fisher, Coach Coley and Coach Amato came to see me practice during spring. It meant a lot to me, especially with Coach Fisher being there. I'd say, along with Coach Kelly at UCF, Coach Scott from USF and Coach Hill from Rutgers, that my relationship with Fisher is one of the best I have."
Rodney is planning on making some camp trips and unofficial visits this summer because he'd like to trim down his list going into the fall. An aspect that will play a part in his schedule is that he is taking some night classes this summer in hopes of maybe graduating early.
"I want to trim my list during the summer. I plan on camping at LSU and Florida. With FSU it's still possible I camp there depending on my schedule. I'm going to night school this summer because I am trying to camp early. It all depends on if I get comfortable enough with a school early on. If I do I will probably just commit and finish up high school early. The school that I am most comfortable with and offers early playing time is going to be where I go."
Archbishop Carroll had a great season last year, and they're a team to look out for in 2008. Rodney and his team used the spring practices to build upon last year. He told NoleDigest now that it's over the plan is working hard going into the summer.
"Spring went well. We played South Plantation. We have a new quarterback so we were working on getting him going. I had 3 catches for 85 yards on offense. On defense I played safety. I had 5 tackles and a couple pass break-ups. I want that state championship ring, so I plan on working hard this summer to get ready for the fall."
Florida State is in a good position right now with Rodney, but his recruitment will probably be a long one if he doesn't choose to enroll early. Relationships with coaches and playing time are big factors in Smith's recruitment, and those are aspects that are keeping the Noles among Smith's favorites at this time. A great visit this summer could catapult the Noles to the top team for Smith, so stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Rodney and the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.