Smith Considers Official Visits

The Lions of East Mississippi won the NJCAA national title last year. Coach Buddy Stephens and his staff have the Lions roaring again this year, but East Mississippi recently dropped from the #1 spot in the national rankings. Defensive end Za'Darius Smith took notice of his team's drop and had a few things to say about it.

Za'Darius Smith profile

"I saw that they dropped us from #1 to #4," said Smith. "We were all just talking about that and I feel like we're being a little disrespected.

"We play Mississippi Delta this week and our heads are real pumped out right now after seeing that.

"At the same time, we can't spend too much time worrying about all of that.

"We just have to go play the games and everything else will take care of itself."

Smith is off to a strong start to the 2012 season, but he believes his best football remains in front of him.

"I am sitting with three sacks, two forced fumbles, an interceptions and 17 tackles," said Smith. "I feel like I can do a more and I am working hard to be a better player."

Over a dozen schools have offered Smith a scholarship, but so far he has not taken official visit.

"I was going to take an official visit to West Virginia, but that was the weekend the storm came through and all of the flights get messed up," said Smith. "I don't have anything else set up yet, but I know I a few schools I am going to visit.

"I am going to look at visit Mississippi State, Florida State, Kansas and Ohio.

"I have been to games at Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Troy.

"I am probably going to drive back to Florida State this weekend for another unofficial."

While Smith is still considering several options, the three star talent reports that the Bulldogs and Seminoles are near the top of his list.

"Florida State has been coming on strong," said Smith. "They lost one defensive end to a foot injury and they have another one leaving after this year.

"They have a bunch of younger guys coming up, so they need a junior to come in and start.

"Mississippi State is still in a real good position with me. It's only 45 minutes away from where I am out now.

"I have a good relationship with all of the coaches there."

Smith is on track to graduate in December and reports that he will make his decision after he takes his official visits.

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