"I've always liked watching and evaluating film," Smith said. "I also have a lot in common with high school coaches because until just a few months ago, I was one of them. I coached high school football for 22 years. I know what high school coaches like."
Smith admits it has been frustrating at times when a high-level prospect has not been receptive to at least listening to what Kentucky has to offer. But that has not happened to him often during his trips through south central Kentucky, eastern Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. Some major cities in his area include Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Canton, Youngstown and Akron.
He has discovered that players from northern states are often consumed by the thought of playing in the Big Ten. "You really have to sell the SEC to them," Smith said. "It takes a lot of work to get a kid from that area to give you a serious look. But that doesn't mean it can't be done. It just means you have to believe in what you are doing and work a little harder to get it done."
But guess what questions Smith has been asked the most during his recruiting trips, especially those to the northern states?
"A lot remember that Kentucky had that great big quarterback (Jared Lorenzen). They ask about him. I also talk a lot about Kentucky basketball because they want to know about that. But as long as they know something about Kentucky, that gives me the opportunity I need to sell our football program, too," Smith said.