"Due to the success we've had in the past, a lot of prospects have been reaching out with interest in participating," Smith said. "I'd identified a large amount of young talent, so I decided to get started earlier.
"Plus, it's possible that I'll be handing over the reins to a new coach as I take on new endeavors. I don't really know how much involvement I'll have in the future once I step away. If I find the right coach, I'll likely step aside and not be active with overseeing the team."
Smith didn't reveal the potential candidates to coach the squad, but he did discuss the early 2013 roster of players and it's an impressive group.
"On paper I'm excited," he began. "I have a tentative agreement with each player on the roster. We already have some players who are verbals to BCS programs.
"The roster includes Quentin Gibson (QB), Leonard Fournette (RB), Malachi Dupre (WR), Trey Quinn (WR), Speedy Noil (WR/QB), Jacory Washington (TE/WR), Terrence Alexander (CB), Prine Lewis (CB), Daniel Lewis (CB), D.K. Buford (RB), Kenny Young (LB), Hootie Jones (CB), Marcus Gaines (WR), Devin Voorhies (S/QB), Daylon Charlot (WR), Mattrell McGraw (CB/S) and (LSU commit) Kain Daub (LB)."
Smith said Daub, a 2014 Florida prospect, will play for two teams next summer.
"Daub is going to be with Pro Impact from his hometown in Jacksonville, and when he's not with them he'll be with the Bootleggers," Smith said.
Multiple roster spots are still up for grabs.
"I like to keep a few spots available for younger players and for talent that's under the radar," Smith said. "The under the radar kids balance things out (with the blue-chippers).
"I'm definitely taking a hard look at Sione Palelei (2014 East Ascension RB). I haven't seen him in person, nor have I seen full game film, but based on Palelei's highlight reel a 7-on-7 team needs a back with his acceleration and agility."
Smith mentioned a few more potential targets, including 2015 safety Hunter Dale from John Curtis Christian.
"It's outside my comfort level to take multiple players from the same high school, but it's also important for me to get the best available skill guys for 7-on-7," Smith explained. "John Curtis is absolutely loaded with Dupre, Alexander, Lewis, McGraw, Young, Hunter Dale and more.
Smith has one quarterback, junior Quentin Gibson (Archbishop Shaw), and he's looking to add another.
"Gibson completed 65% of his passes last year," he said. "That's a high percentage, and he's willing to travel. We were without (2013 QB) Shane McCarley for nationals because he was playing with his high school team (Manvel, TX). I hope to keep the continuity in the future with a quarterback who is able to make all the trips and tournaments.
Smith singled out Daylon Charlot, a 2015 WR from talent-rich Patterson, and St. Paul's 2014 WR Marcus Gaines.
"Charlot has super speed and I think he's on track to become a five-star in two years," he said. "Gaines will give us a change of pace running back and slot receiver."
The Bootleggers won the respective Big Man On Campus and LSU tournaments over the summer.
The BMOC, held on the West Bank of New Orleans (Behrman Park), was a national qualifying event.
The path to the first place trophy at the BMOC was littered with metro area large school powerhouse programs such as St. Augustine, Edna Karr and West Jefferson.
The Bootleggers got past West Jeff in the finals, and both teams subsequently advanced to nationals in Florida.
At LSU, Smith's squad was perfect in a grueling marathon tourney (100-plus degree temperatures during every game).
McDonogh #35 (4A quarterfinalist), O.P. Walker (4A second round) and Plaquemine (4A first round) all fell victim to the Bootleggers at LSU, as did St. Augustine and Karr (familiar BMOC foes).
Pictured below is New Iberia Senior High junior CB Daniel Lewis.