Fresno State’s coaching staff has gone into Texas to sign three defensive backs in their last two classes and they have their eyes set on another for the class of 2015. Houston (TX) St. Pius DB Jalen Smith jumps off the film with his combination of coverage skills, tackling and ball hawking. As Smith jumped out to the Fresno State staff, an offer from the Bulldogs stood out to Smith as well.
“California has some of the best talent in America and I like how they came to Texas for me and to offer me,” Smith said. “I’ve talked to coach Woodson, coach Peterson and I’ve talked to coach Toth a little bit. I’ve really talked to coach Peterson the most... because that’s the guy who came and watched me practice and they offered me. We actually have a really good relationship. We talk about a lot of things. They talk about how they want me there a lot and they can’t wait for me to come out there for a visit.”
Smith is also drawing interest from other schools, however - he has four offers in all which include New Mexico, McNeese State, and Stephen F. Austin. He has also received interest from Purdue, Boise State, Arkansas State and Kansas State. Smith says Purdue and Boise State are two schools he especially wants to hear more from.
“That’s my top choice right now is Fresno State.”
Fresno State remains his top choice and he plans to take an unofficial visit at the end of July. Smith is already high on the Bulldogs without seeing the campus firsthand because he likes California and is impressed with their recent success.
“I haven’t been out there,” Smith said. “I just really like California to be honest. That’s somewhere I want to be at. I know that they are on the rise with their program with the championships back-to-back.”
Jalen Smith was also drawn into Fresno State by the play of another Smith - Derron Smith. You can see why by watching how Jalen Smith plays the game. Like Derron, he has the ability to make big hits and make plays on the ball, as well as pick up man coverage when necessary. Jalen Smith even sports the same #13 on the field.
“What really stood out is I like their safety Derron Smith,” Smith said. “He stands out the most to me. If I get there that would be somebody that I would kind of look up to. He wouldn’t be there, but that’s just somebody that I would see myself playing as, just another person like him.”
That combination of skills means Smith will have versatility in finding a spot in a college lineup.
“Peterson was telling me I could play safety, nickel or corner depending on how everything goes,” Smith added.
Before he visits Fresno State, Smith will take an unofficial visit to New Mexico. He has already camped with the Lobos and will check out the campus on Tuesday. Smith is being recruited by UNM outside linebackers coach Archie McDaniels.
“I really like the coaches there,” Smith said. “They had a combined camp with Oklahoma State. I went there and I liked how their coaches were. They’re young, I liked the coaches a lot. I like how they focus on having a relationship with your parents also and not just the player himself… A lot of people tell me it’s a good program and it’s in the Mountain West so I’m looking forward to my visit.”
Stay tuned with BulldogPlaybook.com for a follow up after Smith's unofficial visit to Fresno State.
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