Mike's Take: New OLB commit

The Hurricanes landed a commitment from OLB Michael Smith over the weekend. Read on for a commitment analysis from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

What to Like: Michael Smith was one of the top pass rushers in all of Miami last year. Playing for one of the top prep programs in South Florida (Miami Northwestern HS), Smith had a very productive season. When it came time for their opponents to throw the football, they had to be very aware of where Smith was on the defensive side of the football. Elite pass rushers can change games, and Smith showed flashes of being one at the high school level last season. At 6-foot-2, he has long arms (especially for being just 6-2) and seems to have the body that will enable him to add weight and strength at the college level. He has the athleticism to change directions and make a lot of plays in pursuit. He's also athletic enough to drop into coverage at the prep level and provide something in that area of his game.

What may concern you: At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Smith is a bit undersized. He is likely never going to be a defensive end in the 4-3 alignment. He looks to be an outside 'backer in a 3-4 defense. He runs fairly well, but not really well (4.86 at the Nike Camp earlier this year). His athleticism would be considered above average for an outside 'backer in a 4-3 defense. He'll need to get stronger, especially when teams try running right at him. He's a physical player now but things will get tougher at the next level when everyone is bigger and stronger than in high school.

Bottom Line: Smith was offered by Miami a few months ago, so the coaches obviously liked his junior film enough to give the offer. It seems like they didn't want to accept his commitment until having him in camp, which happened this past weekend. It seems like he passed the test. He's a kid with above average size and athleticism, good junior film, and a kid who seems to test well with all the intangibles that the coaches saw at camp. He had scholarship offers from schools like Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Louisville but not schools like Florida State, Florida, and Georgia. Recruited like a solid three-star prospect, Smith will give the Hurricanes another much needed pass rusher, someone whose best role will likely be as an OLB in a 3-4 alignment.


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