Even though Simpson was one of the nation's top center prospects, many thought he would be a lock for Kentucky. His father played at Kentucky with Smith. He had played against Smith's teams at Boyle County and had known Smith for years. However, it was anything but easy because Simpson took his time and seriously considered several other schools, including some in the SEC.
"I really like Samuel. He is really a good person," Smith said. "He is a hard-working kid. I think a lot of him as person. I really enjoyed recruiting him. But he made me work. It wasn't quite a slam dunk as everybody thought it would be. I think he made the right decision for him and us, too. He will be good player."
Like Aumiller, Smith has known the Henry Clay product for many, many years "When we played Henry Clay, Samuel was always at games. We would swap tapes and he might come when he was just a little runt," Smith said. "He really grew into a big boy, though." Smith wasn't afraid to encourage Simpson to visit other schools.
"He's a sharp kid. You want him to make sure he knows we are the right spot for him. I didn't want to discourage him from looking at what other schools had to offer. I thought that would help him see that Kentucky was the best place for him," Smith said.
"Samuel always had a lot of good questions to ask. My connection with his father never really entered into his recruiting. This was about him and Kentucky. It might have helped that he knew me, but that was not the deciding factor. He made us recruit him just like any other player, which was the right approach for us and him. But we are awfully glad to have him at Kentucky because he's such a good person and good player."