It might be a ways from Bloomington, Ind., to Coconut Creek, Fla., but IU was the first to make it to Monarch H.S. defensive end Andrew Smith.
The 6-3 ½, 226-pound standout has surfaced as a Hoosier recruiting priority, receiving his first scholarship offer - from Indiana - last week.
"I was really happy (about the offer), and my mom was really happy," said Smith, an All-Broward County pick a year ago. "They seemed really interested, but I didn't know they were going to offer me right away. So that was a nice surprise."
Smith is coming off a big junior season, totaling 67 tackles and 10 sacks for a Monarch H.S. program that went 5-4. He's an athletic defensive end who said he's also receiving interest from Mississippi State, Iowa, Florida Atlantic and Central Florida.
Those four programs have said they're close to offering, opting to wait until they see the film from his spring game performance last week. Indiana, though, went ahead and pulled the trigger on a scholarship offer, a fact that won't be lost on him as the recruiting process unfolds.
"That means a lot," Smith said. "I'll always remember they were the first one to offer me."
With the offer in hand, Smith plans to visit the Bloomington campus in the near future. He said he intends to head to Indiana the week of June 18th with one of his parents for a visit, and also hopes to take a closer look at the other schools that have shown interest.
Smith said the IU coaches have been impressed with what they've seen from him on film, and think he's the type of player who could step in early and be a contributor on the defensive front.
"(IU Assistant Coach Matt Canada) has said he likes my size and my speed," said Smith, who ran a 4.69 in the 40 at the Scout.com combine in Miami, ranking him sixth among all defensive linemen in attendance.
"He was talking about how the defensive ends were seniors, and they are looking for some defensive ends who can help early in this year's class."
While Smith is headed to Bloomington in about three weeks, it appears unlikely he'd be considering committing during his stop. The summer months figure to provide him and his family with an opportunity to look around and wait and see who else is going to offer.
"When I'm ready to commit somewhere depends on how it unfolds," Smith said. "It depends on who offers me. I'll probably wait until the middle or end of the season."
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