"Just the facilities you know," he said about his decision about pledging to Jim McElwain and his staff. "The people just come and were saying this is where I need to be, this is where I need to go. So it was nice.”
The four-star Oxbridge Academy safety made his return to Gainesville on Friday night to see the Gators in action in the Orange and Blue Debut spring game, and once again reaffirming his commitment.
“This is my fourth time here this year, they treat me like home," he said. "They treat me like a regular student on campus, even better. So it’s really nice to be here.”
The defensive backs also did not fail to impress
The DBs were “hands-on, quick, relentless," said the West Palm Beach native. "Hopefully that can be me one day.”
Smith, who is ranked 136th player in the country and the 16th best safety, says the addition of Corey Bell as the defensive back coach definitely helped him turn towards Florida.
“Oh it was really big. Him and [tight ends] coach Nord came and recruited me very hard, before I even had the offer," he explained. “I’ve known him [Bell] since I’ve been going to FAU camps since my 9th grade year, and we’ve been keeping in touch ever since. It’s a nice relationship.”
Bell was not the only familiar face, however. Smith already had a relationship with UF's new running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider, while Seider was at West Virginia.
"He never really said he wanted me to go to West Virginia but he always kept me in touch, told me to do what’s best for me.”
The staff has made it clear where they envision the future Gator.
“Mostly me coming here, playing free safety, I heard that all their starting free safeties have gone to the NFL Draft. So that was a big opener for me to come in and get a big chance to push this season.”
Although Smith remains loyal to Florida, other schools have continued to pursue the dynamic playmaker.
“A couple schools, they’re trying to get in touch with me here and there. I’m still going to take some visits, I haven’t taken any so I’m still going to take some," he said. "“Lately, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU. Those are the main schools after me.”
One school not heavily in the mix, home town school, Miami.
“Ooh, I haven’t got an offer from Miami, I haven’t got any looks from Miami and it’s 30 minutes down the street. So it’s like, I’m iffy with them," he said. "They still talk, we have conversations here and there. Mark Richt is a great guy, great coach.”
So what do teams need to do to have a chance to flip Smith? According to the four-star 2018 prospect, they need to work some serious magic.
“You have to be special, I don’t know. You have to do something, man. You have to do something real spectacular. Houdini, man." he said. "They got to pull something swift or something.
“My mom loved the school, my granddad, my brother attends UCF but he loves that I committed here," he added. "It’s an in-home school, I’m far from home but not too far. So it’s pretty nice.”
Smith is planning to take a few visits, however, he has none set at this time.
"Me and my coaching staff will look at the options.”