A verbal commitment - with a twist

Usually a "soft" commitment is more of an indicator - granted, a quality indicator - of which way a prospect is leaning than it is a true verbal pledge. Not so with Waco (TX) Reicher Catholic tight end Jordan Smith. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound standout gave a self-described soft commitment to Kansas this week, but only because he wants the chance to finalize things face-to-face.

Ask Jordan Smith how his recent verbal commitment to the Kansas Jayhawks feels, and the 6-foot-5, 225-pound tight end from Waco (TX) Reicher Catholic certainly doesn't hold back.

"It's freaking awesome," he said.

Fans usually cringe when a prospect makes a "soft" verbal commitment, and Smith himself describes the pledge he gave to the Kansas coaching staff this week as such - though not for the reason one might expect.

One of the things that ultimately helped convince the athletic Texas TE that the Jayhawks were the best fit for him was the honest and personal approach they took to his recruitment. Tight ends coach Aaron Stamn, his lead recruiter, made it clear from the start how important Smith was to their plans on the recruiting trailer, and the two formed a strong bond.

"I've gotten a great feel over the summer, talking to him on a weekly basis," Smith explained. "I know there was one week where I got a hand-written letter from a different member of the coaching staff every single day of the week. That really stands out to me."

"I know that's going to carry over if I play there," he added. "They're going to spend the extra bit of time with me to make me the best player I can be."

So why the soft verbal? Why not just go all in?

It's not an indicator of the strength of his decision, Smith explained, as his mind is made up. Rather, it's about wanting to reciprocate the personal attention the Kansas coaches gave him during his recruitment.

"The reason I gave a soft verbal is as a sign of respect," he said. "I want to give a solid commit in person, so I can shake Coach (Turner) Gill's hand, look him in the eye and tell him I want to be a Jayhawk. That's just the way I was raised."

"I know in my mind and in my heart that Kansas is the place where I need to be to become the best football player on the field," Smith continued. "But also become the best person off it. It's definitely 100-percent in my mind."

Schedule permitting, he hopes to take an official visit to Kansas during the weekend of their Oct. 1 homecoming tilt with Texas Tech.

Expert's Take: This is a solid pick-up and he is one of the more complete tight ends in the Midlands this year. He is more of a receiving threat right now, but has a nice frame. Once he bulks up in college he could develop in to a real commodity. (Scout.com national recruiting analyst Greg Powers)

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