“As soon as I can get it over with Friday, I’m going to get it over with,” Roquan Smith said.
On National Signing Day, Smith was indecisive and unsure of his commitment. Now, the four-star linebacker out of Montezuma, Georgia is itching to put it behind him. He will announce his final commitment on Friday - nine long days later.
Within a few hours of his on-camera decision to commit to UCLA on Signing Day, Smith admitted he was unsure of his commitment and that he would wait to sign his letter of intent. That decision was quickly followed by the announcement that his primary recruiter from UCLA, linebacker coach Dan Ulbrich, would be leaving UCLA for a job with the Atlanta Falcons.
The two still communicate and Ulbrich, though onto his new job in the NFL, continues to unofficially recruit Smith to UCLA.
Previous to the chaos that was signing day, Smith had originally intended to wait on sending his letter-of-intent (LOI), rather than immediately signing and faxing it. Now, he will not be sending the LOI at all.
The news that he wouldn’t be sending a letter-of-intent came as a surprise to many, stirring the idea that Smith's actions could become a trend in recruiting with high-level players. But the linebacker doesn't see his decision as a statement of any sort.
“I wasn’t trying to start anything at all,” Smith said. “I was just trying to do what was best for me at that time.”
Smith offered up that he would’ve committed on Thursday had his coach, Larry Harold, been in Montezuma, but the now Brunswick head coach wouldn’t return from out of town until Friday.
Harold has been Smith’s go-to for advice throughout the process. According to Smith, Harold has reiterated to him that he should pick a school that is “able to develop him on and off the field.”
And while he’s now become one of the most talked about recruits of 2015, Smith said he tries to avoid the noise. Even though the #RoquanStayHome hashtag on Twitter did make him laugh on Signing Day, the four-star prospect said that he has attempted to avoid social media in the past week with fans, friends and everyone in between trying to recruit him to schools.
Smith’s take - which possibly resemble rap lyrics - on the effect of outside noise?
“Haters gunna hate, critics gunna talk, but I’m the only one taking this walk,” Smith said.
Throughout the emotional roller coaster, Smith said his decision to commit to UCLA a week ago taught him a lot about the people surrounding him.
“It shows you your true supporters,” Smith said. “ (Signing Day) showed me who was there for me, and who was just riding on me to go to (a certain) school.”
On Wednesday, Smith was relaxed. He was singing Kip Moore’s “Something ‘bout a Truck.” He was ready to make his decision.
And this time, he is “100 percent” sure that wherever he commits will be the school he shows up at this summer.