Branden Smith's senior season got underway last week, but it wasn't the way the standout 4-star athlete had planned. Individually he got off to a good start, showing why he's regarded as one of the top playmakers in this year's class. But for Branden, the fact his team lost dampened anything he was able to do.
"The start to my senior year was okay," said Smith. "I did very well myself as I played quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back and on the return teams. I had over 150 all-purpose yards but my team lost. We have to focus on getting ready for the next game. We're still young and learning sop we need to look at our mistakes and play better."
Branden has kept his recruitment very close to the vest. So far he has had no favorites publicly and says that he's wide open to the process as the fall gets underway. Over the summer Smith checked out a host of schools, coming away impressed with what he saw. Right now there is a list of schools he didn't get a chance to check out over the summer.
"My visits went very well this summer," said Smith. "I went to LSU and Alabama and I saw Georgia, too. Each school showed me a good time and treated me well. The LSU visit was real positive and I had some questions answered I had about their depth chart and things."
"A lot of schools have started calling again," continued Smith about the recruiting process. "Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan and Florida State all called me on the 1st. I want to get out and see these schools, especially FSU and Tennessee. The reason why I haven't yet is because of transportation issues, not because I'm not interested. Coach Haggins from FSU wants to get me up there to see one of their games this year. I'm thinking about visiting there to see their campus and to check out the environment. I know for sure this weekend I am going on an official to the Florida game when they play Miami. I like what they have to offer."
While Smith is wide open at this time he does know what he's looking for. He told NoleDigest that how the team plans on using him, combined with the depth chart, are the factors that he's looking for in a school.
"I'm not really worried about the recruiting process right now," explained Smith, "but I've still been doing the research I need to. Every team is recruiting me as a kick and punt returner and corner for sure. A lot of the coaches have told me that I'm a threat on both sides of the ball and that they want to get the ball in my hands. That is going to kind of play a role in this. I'm also not trying to redshirt so depth charts are important and I am looking at those."
Branden is far from a decision but plans on making it at the UnderArmour All-American game in January. If FSU is going to have a legitimate shot at him they need to get him on campus for a visit. He's been interested in the Seminoles, but until, or if, he comes on a visit we won't know for sure the chance FSU has with Smith. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Branden, as well as the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.