A.J. Smiley is happy to be back out on the field with his Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park teammates. It's been hot already and he admits that it's a little strange to think that his senior season is around the corner.
"We have been practicing," Smiley said. "It's 85-degrees here or more, it's been record highs. Walking out there knowing that this is my senior season is kind weird I have to admit. I have been watching a lot of old games on iPad."
In the off-season Smiley was really working on his feet. He already has good size for a safety, but he says that he would like to add five more pounds to his frame before they report for fall camp.
"I was working on my 40 time and footwork. Overall I have been working on things to get me to the next level. I am around 6-foot-2.5 and 200-pounds right now. I would like to get to 205-pounds for the season."
From his safety spot Smiley can do a lot of things that you need your centerfielders to do. He loves to knock down passes as well as knock around receivers. He says that he's a better fit as a free safety so he can survey the entire field.
"I'm long and my long arms just make me longer than just my height. I love to knock down passes and to hit. I'm really a free safety and love seeing the whole field from my spot."
Smiley has had an opportunity to take some trips in the spring. He says that there are a number of schools that he would like to visit or possibly camp at this summer as well.
"I took a visit to Mississippi State and Auburn for their spring games. I also went to Troy and UAB. I am going to take a lot of trips this summer to schools like Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Tennessee."
There are two offers on the table for Smiley. He says that he's excited that he will get the opportunity to play D-I football. The offer from Nebraska is exciting because he knows one of their players and they have a tradition for producing players that go onto the NFL from his position.
"I have two offers at the moment," Smiley said. "I have offers from Troy and Nebraska. I got the offer from Troy before I got one from Nebraska.
"I was excited about the offer from Nebraska. I know their running back, Ameer Abdullah, who is from Alabama. They have a tradition of producing defensive backs that go to the NFL and the coach is a good guy like a father-figure."