March mad for top-100 junior/UMD target Smith

March Madness has taken on new meaning to New Brunswick (N.J.) athlete Brandon Smith. The Scout.com Top-100 junior is juggling double-digit offers, including interest from college football powerhouses across the country.


The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Smith, a versatile athlete that played both quarterback and defensive back for New Brunswick, named nine schools as the frontrunners for his services.

"My favorite schools are Maryland, Michigan, Rutgers, Syracuse, Colorado, Tennessee, Florida , Virginia, West Virginia," Smith said.

Smith has visited only Rutgers and Maryland so far. He took in the Terps' thrilling 27-24 win over Florida State in October. He was able to tour the football facilities and sit down with the coaches, and enjoyed the overall experience.

"They got the best facilities and it seems like they got a lot of fan support and everything else that goes with it," Smith said of Maryland.

The Terps have made the Garden State a focus of recruiting, especially when New York native Dave Sollazzo took over as recruiting coordinator two years ago. Maryland landed five commitments from the state last year and has targeted several top prospects this year, including Smith.

Though Smith would not single one school out as his favorite, he said he grew up watching Michigan and idolizes Wolverine legend Charles Woodson.

"I talked to Coach [Lloyd] Carr today and it was just an honor to talk to him and if I could play for him it would be even a bigger honor," Smith said.

Smith put up big numbers on both sides of the ball his junior year at New Brunswick. He completed 50 percent of his passes for 1,049 yards, 14 touchdowns and just five interceptions at quarterback and had over 50 tackles and seven interceptions as a safety. He won Conference Defensive Player of the Year and earned first team All-State honors.

Smith compares himself to Philadelphia safety Brian Dawkins and Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu. As for his position in college, though, he doesn't really have a preference.

"It doesn't even matter," he said. "Wherever I can get on the field first."

He plans to visit Michigan, Rutgers and Virginia among other schools over the summer.

He said he does not have a timetable for a decision at the moment.

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