Smith Jr. Impresses at ISU Camp

Frostproof (Fla.) High School offensive guard Michael Smith Jr. netted an Iowa State offer Thursday after he impressed coaches at a satellite camp in Florida.

For quite some time, Iowa State has shown interest in Frostproof (Fla.) High School offensive guard Michael Smith Jr. He just needed a chance to showcase himself.

When Iowa State stopped in Lake Wales, Florida, for a satellite camp Thursday, that chance presented itself and the 6-foot-3, 270-pound lineman didn’t disappoint. By the time Smith was done working out in front of coaches, he had drawn an offer.

“They know I’m good run blocking, but they wanted to see how I was pass blocking,” Smith said. “They offered me after the camp. The camp was pretty exciting. This is a big offer. I’m blessed. I was just smiling and told them thank you. It’s a blessing.”

The offer from Iowa State is Smith’s first Power 5 offer, but it joins a growing list of offers that have come since the start of the spring evaluation period. Other offers have come from Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Florida International, Georgia Southern, Marshall, Memphis, South Alabama, Troy and Western Kentucky.

Smith, an athletic guard, has also drawn interest from in-state schools Florida and Miami as well as Missouri. He will camp with Florida on June 17 and plans to visit Miami later in the month. Ultimately, though, Smith is open to going anywhere.

“You go anywhere,” Smith said. “You can’t pick what team you get drafted to [in the NFL]. So there isn’t a point in just staying in Florida.”

Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham was the coach who offered Smith following Thursday’s camp. The Cyclones, Burnham told Smith, like him at guard but could also see him developing at center.

“They like my athleticism,” Smith said. “They were having me do some snaps at center, but mostly right guard. I’m just an athletic guard with power and great hips. I’m working on my pass game, because at the high school where I’m at we don’t really throw the ball that much so I just need to work on that and staying low.”

Before Smith’s recruitment heated up this spring, he was thinking about committing by summer’s end. He may now wait until after his senior season.

Smith is already planning on using one of his official visits next season to stop at Iowa State as he gets a better feel for what he’s looking for.

“[I’m looking for] good academics, what they’re doing [for you] just outside of a football player,” Smith said. “I want to go to NFL, but everybody doesn’t make it, so I need a good education.”


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