"It was the visit that did it," Hakeem Smith said. "I explored the campus and stadium. We took a tour around to see the dorms and the weight-room. We talked with the academic advisors. It's really a great campus. I love Louisville."
Smith was recruited by Louisville defensive coordinator Ron English. English had kept tabs on the 6-foot-1, 170-pound athlete for the past few months and gave Smith lots of attention during his unofficial visit earlier this week.
"He's a cool guy, he's funny and he's about business and he's serious about getting the defense right," Smith added. Smith said English had been recruiting him since May when he attended Riverdale's spring game.
Though he played both ways as a junior, Louisville recruited Smith to help out on defense as a free safety. Last season as a junior, Smith made 57 tackles and one INT.
"We just talked about what I can do to help them," said Smith, who runs a 4.6 forty yard dash. "They see me as an impact player for them on defense who can help them go far."
Why does English believe Smith can make a major impact for the Louisville defense?
"I have the capability of a strong and free safety," said the versatile Smith. "I can cover and I can hit too. If I have to come through the alley I can do it."
Though he didn't have any other offers on the table, Smith said that Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech and Virginia were showing strong interest in his recruitment. Earlier this summer, Smith attended Vanderbilt's camp and made a strong showing. "I showed that I was one of the best," Smith said.
Smith's visit to Louisville this week won't be his last this year.