Bloomington – One of the top 100 high school junior football players in the nation has an offer and some serious interest in the IU football program.
Daniel Smith, a 6-4, 205-pound wide receiver from South Bend (Ind.) Clay H.S. received IU's offer in the mail late last week. The Hoosiers are the first to offer the junior, who is also expecting a scholarship offer from Purdue sometime next month.
While Purdue and many others figure to throw their hat into the ring in the coming weeks and months, Indiana has already made an impression on this talented wideout who caught 51 balls for 1,071 yards and nine touchdowns during his junior season. Smith made an unofficial visit to IU for the Hoosiers' win over Northwestern in the fall, and that trip made an impact.
"It's great to see how they'd have new facilities there when I got there," Smith said. "Going there and seeing that, it made me more interested in Indiana. A lot of people from my school have gone there and a lot of my friends are planning to go there. So that draws me even more."
One of those friends who will be going there is South Bend Clay teammate Andrew Adeniyi, a running back/cornerback who rushed for 1,020 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. Adeniyi has already accepted an IU offer to be a preferred walk-on in the fall of 2009, which makes Bloomington an even more attractive option to Smith.
"It would be great if I went there knowing someone in the program," Smith said.
While Adeniyi's presence helps the Hoosiers, they figure to have some very stiff recruiting competition by the time it's all said and done. Off the field, he's a 3.6 student in the classroom, so there are no concerns about him being a qualifier. On the field, Smith combines excellent size with a 38-inch vertical jump and track caliber speed. In track and field he's jumped a personal best of 6'7" in the high jump, and he had a best of 23-7 ½ in the long jump as well. He placed fourth in the Indiana state meet in the long jump as a junior, and he also ran on South Bend Clay's sixth-place 4x400 relay as well.
"I feel one of my biggest strength is my jumping ability," Smith said. "At a combine my vertical was 38, so that gives me an edge over corners. Not many corners are 6'4" and can jump like that."
Smith attended all of Notre Dame's games this season, and Irish are certainly keeping an eye on the local product. Iowa and Purdue are also expressing plenty of interest, and Smith's high school coach recently sent out game film to 10 other schools.
"I feel no one is going to offer me if they haven't seen my film, so hopefully that will get it rolling," Smith said.
As college programs get to see Smith in action, the scholarship offers figure to quickly pile up. But the Hoosiers' early offer and the possibility of joining Adeniyi in Bloomington makes Coach Bill Lynch's program an intriguing possibility.
"I'm definitely interested in IU," Smith said.
Click following link to see Daniel Smith's junior highlight film:
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Top-100 Junior Has Offer, Interest in IU
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