Rahkeem Smith is Biding His Time

Talented Villa Park linebacker Rahkeem Smith is travelling a similar path to that of former Villa Park linebacker Matt Roth. Smith has just four offers to date, and Roth did not see his recruitment pick up until the fall of his senior year. Roth wound up with more than 30 offers from a who's who of college football, before choosing Iowa. Smith talks about Iowa City and the Hawkeyes, as well as the other schools that are in the race for his talents.

Nicknamed "Chemo-Therapy" due to his devasting hits, some feel Rahkeem Smith ranks as the state of Illinois's top linebacker prospect in 2004. The only surprising fact about Smith to this point is he only has four offers, a situation similar to what faced current Iowa Hawkeye defensive end Matt Roth at Villa Park four years ago. Is it some sort of trend at that high school?

"I know Ohio State came through the school and said that I was under the radar," said Smith. "A lot of programs just don't know much about me or haven't done their research. I know it was the same way for Matt Roth when he was recruited, and now he is going to be drafted a year from now. I don't know if it has to do with our high school, but schools I guess better starting become more familiar."

The University of Iowa happened to be the first offer for Matt Roth, who went on to earn 30 plus offers, and he eventually signed with the Hawkeyes. Smith has taken great notice of that fact, and currently names the Hawkeyes his favorite.

"The campus is just awesome, and I have a lot of friends in Iowa City, including Matt. I just love the intensity of the program as it just keeps getting better and they keeping bringing in top players. They just signed Kyle Williams of Bolingbrook a year ago, and I know they are doing well in Illinois this year."

"Iowa is my current favorite as I talk with Coach (Lester) Erb once or twice a week, and we have a great relationship. We talk mainly about football, but we always end up talking about everything. Matt actually just called me on Saturday telling me I need to come over and visit him so I'm sure I'll be back out to Iowa City at some point this summer."

Smith has also garnered offers from Pittsburgh and Indiana, and has a high interest in those two along with one other Big Ten program.

"Indiana was my most recent offer, and along with Pitt and Wisconsin, those are my top four schools right now. I haven't attended any camps due to the ACT and the fact I've been so busy, but there is a 50% chance I'll make it up to Wisconsin's camp this Thursday. Right now, I plan on waiting until after the season to make my decision so I'm planning to take an official visit out to Pittsburgh."

Due to his timetable for a decision still being a few months away, he has left an open door for some schools that have stopped by his high school.

"I'm leaving an open mind in regards to other schools right now, and I have some interest in Boston College, Purdue, and Illinois. They all stopped by the school as well as Notre Dame and Louisville, but I don't have much interest in the Irish."


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