Rising high school seniors who find that their recruitment isn’t taking off at the speed they had hoped often use the summer months to make their move with college coaches.
After the spring evaluation period provided good feedback from staffs but no offers, the Lexington, Ky. native began what he described as some of the busiest – and most important - weeks of his life.
“It’s been hectic, but also worth it,” Smith said. “The stuff I’m hearing from the coaches has all been promising. My first stop was at Kentucky, and they have been looking at me since my sophomore season. They loved the way that I moved around. If an offer comes from UK, they want it to be at center. Their big thing is continuing to watch me so that they know how my blocking develops.
“At Louisville I worked at nose guard, and the coaches all said that I had the power and leverage that they were looking for. From there I went to Illinois and then over to Ohio State, where I really dominated the one-on-ones. (Defensive coordinator) Coach (Jim) Heacock seemed pretty interested after he watched me in person.”
The next staff that will work out the 6-foot-1, 310-pounder will be LSU, having recently extended an invitation to Smith to join the staff for the team’s camp in July.
“I will be trying to get down there and work out from the 18th to the 21st,” Smith said. “I got a couple of letters in the mail this week. One was for the camp and the other was from coach Miles, and that one just said that the coaches were interested in seeing me.”
During his stay, Smith – who will start at tight end instead of guard this season – plans to work out on both sides of the ball for the Tiger staff.
“I wouldn’t mind playing on either side,” he said. “I’m going to get with the defensive and offensive line coaches and see what they think, then I’ll just work from there. I’m 310 pounds, and I run a 4.9 forty, 4.6 shuttle and can vertical 29”. Hopefully they see that athleticism and can work with me.
“I’ve always liked LSU, so just getting the invite to go down there was big. I’ve seen them play every time they have been up here to Kentucky, including the three-overtime game where everyone rushed the field. It’s top-notch SEC football, up there with Florida and Alabama, and that’s exciting.”