Cyclones land Florida linebacker

Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads enjoyed one of his best lunches on Saturday and it had nothing to do with his food.

"I told Coach Rhoads that I wanted to be a Cyclone and so he gathered everyone around me," said Riverview (FL) Spoto High School's Donald Smith. "He then asked the other recruits, some of the Iowa State players, and the other coaches if it was okay if I became a member of the team and they all said yes so it was really exciting for me."

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound outside linebacker says that it was Iowa State's persistence that paid off in the long run.

"Coach (Shane) Burnham was the most consistent guy who was recruiting me," said Smith. "He didn't try to sell me no dream but he just kept it real and told me that if I come in and play well that I will most likely have a chance to be the back-up at the WILL linebacker position."

Burnham made it very clear early on why the Cyclones were offering him a scholarship last spring.

"Last May he came down and he told me that they had seen my highlight film," said Smith. "He told me that they loved my speed and physicality at the linebacker position. He also told me that they like the intensity that I bring to the table."

After meeting Shane's father (Iowa State defensive coordinator) last week, Donald wanted to make his decision but there was one thing he wanted to do before he made things final.

"Coach Wally Burnham came down and talked with me and my mother and I basically told him that I wanted to commit but that I first wanted to take my visit," he said. "My visit this weekend was great because coaching staff really made me feel like I was at home."

Donald also connected with some of the Iowa State players right away.

"My host was Jarvis West and him and Leonard Johnson are both from St.Pete's so we got that bond going already," he said. "I also met six of the other committed recruits and we all bonded right away."

Smith got to talk with the Iowa State players about what he might expect and what they said to him definitely lived up to the hype.

"Jarvis said the fans are crazy and that the city is completely behind you," he said. "Then we went to the basketball game and I saw that he was right because they went wild during the game."

So is Donald completely done with his recruitment or is he possibly going to take a few other visits?

"This was my first and last visit that I will be taking," said Smith. "Coach Rhoads is really a great guy and I just want to come in and help him get this program to where he wants it in the future."

Smith also received offers from Iowa, Wake Forest, and Washington State.

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