Jelani Smith commits to La. Tech

Louisiana Tech's Derek Dooley may be a rookie head coach but he is no rookie to the recruiting process after serving as recruiting coordinator at SMU and LSU.

Dooley knows that the key to turning around the Bulldog program starts with recruiting and he added a big commitment from one of Louisiana's top linebackers in Abbeville's Jelani Smith.


Smith, a 6-1, 210-pounder with 4.7 speed, has good instincts and is known for always being around the ball.


As a junior, he recorded 136 total tackles which topped his sophomore year when he tallied 108 stops.


What made the standout defender go ahead and give the Bulldogs an early pledge?


"The coaches were really showing me a lot of love and I hadn't heard from a lot of other schools," Smith said. "One of the coaches over there, coach (Brent) Indest, was my brother's high school coach and I just felt that it would be a good place for me."


Smith said Oklahoma State had been recruiting him pretty heavily over the past two weeks but the Cowboys had yet to offer.


Now, that spring practice is under way at Abbeville there are sure to be some college coaches making their way to South Louisiana to evaluate Smith in person.


If some more offers come his way then there is a chance he could open things back up.


"I'm going to look at the offers but I did commit to Tech verbally," Smith said. "I didn't sign anything so I will take the other offers into consideration but I am committed to Tech."


Smith said although he may consider some other offers he wanted to make it clear that he is happy to be a Bulldog.


"The coaches sound like they're not giving me a line and they seem like they're being real with me," he said. "They said out of all of the linebackers I play downhill the best from what they've seen and that I could play all of the linebacker positions. They said they like everything about me and I feel like they really want me. That made me feel good and I'm real happy now."

Tiger Blitz Top Stories