Smith Feeling the Love from Michigan

Michigan has been in hot pursuit of five-star Long Beach Poly ATH, JuJu Smith for months now, and the talented youngster has definitely taken notice. GoBlueWolverine caught with the two-way standout to discuss his interest in the Maize & Blue, his leaderboard, his decision criteria, and much much more.

Sam Webb: How did you do individually? Can you reflect on your stats and how you did personally?

Juju Smith: “Personally, I started out the season as a wide receiver, and coach started talking and saying ‘we should move you to safety’, so I moved to safety mid-season. I played safety before but the last time I played safety was as a freshman.  I played both ways, and it went pretty good.  Moving me to safety helped the defense a lot. My stats, I think I did good on defense. You know, moving to safety mid-season and getting six interceptions, I think that’s pretty good. I’m not bragging or anything. I had six interceptions, and I moved to wide receiver. On the other side of the ball I had 756 yards with nine touchdowns and 49 receptions.”

Sam Webb: I’ve seen you listed as the #1 receiver in the country and I’ve seen you listed as the #1 safety in the country. Do you have a preference regarding which side of the ball you play at the next level?

JuJu Smith: “I get that question a lot. To be honest, I tell everybody I want to play wide receiver in college, but my odds getting to the NFL are higher playing DB, which I’m comfortable with.  I’m not afraid to play that position, just if I do, whatever position I choose I’m pretty sure I’m pretty sure I’m going to focus on it more this year instead of playing both way. I am willing to play both ways in college, but yeah.”

Sam Webb: I know you don’t want to brag, so I’m going to put you in a position where you don’t have to. You be a scout.  You’re in the stands and you’re watching JuJu Smith on the football field. Kind of break down his game as a receiver, then break down his game on defense. Tell me what he brings to the table.

JuJu Smith: “That’s a good one (laughter). I would say that it’s a big kid for wide receiver and DB, 6’2”, 200-lbs, I mean, what can be better than that? The average height for wide receiver and DBs is probably 6’0”, 6’1”. Great player, you know, reads the ball, he doesn’t stare down the quarterback, he can look away on the defensive side and for wide receiver he’s just a big physical guy, not afraid to go for the ball.”

Sam Webb: Recruiting-wise, do you know how many offers you have at this point?

JuJu Smith: “I think it’s like 17. I just got offered by Oklahoma State.”

Sam Webb: Obviously you’re one of the most highly recruited guys in the country, but I saw somewhere recently where you had a top list of USC, Michigan, Wisconsin, UCLA and California. What is it about Michigan that put them so high on your list?

JuJu Smith: “Coach, Ferrigno, great coach. I’ve talked to him and he’s a great man.  He told me about Michigan, the facilities, and all the places in the academic part. I checked into Michigan’s medical core, that’s what I want to major in. Great medical core.  I was talking to the defensive coach and he was telling me ‘yeah, we play with four or five DBs on the field which sounds really really good to me because I just love playing DB.  That definitely caught my eye.  I was to talking other recruits that were coming in, Wilton (Speight) and Ferns, linebackers, and the quarterback in my class, and it sounds really good for them to call me and saying ‘yeah, you should commit, you should do this, you should do th(Michael) at.’  So Michigan is a great school, they’re one of my top five teams. I’m looking forward to visiting them. I don’t know when I’m visiting them, but hopefully soon. That will be one of my official visits. “

Sam Webb: There was an outstanding player from Poly about six, seven years ago that went to Michigan amed Donovan Warren. Do you know Donovan at all?

JuJu Smith: “I heard of Donovan, but I never talked to him personally. I’ll probably try to contact him and ask him how it went for him.  I heard he did great stuff at Michigan. “

Sam Webb: Lets talk about recruiting decision criteria. What are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?

JuJu Smith: “The biggest factor in the choice will be when I’m playing at for the next four or five years, what I major in, what I want to do for the next four or five years, because most kids, you don’t go all the way, and I want to have something really good to fall back on, which is my major I want to fall back on. Weather-wise, it doesn’t really affect me, because wherever you go, you’re always going to play in bad weather, cold weather, it doesn’t matter.”

Sam Webb: You said weather won’t be a factor, so should I take that to mean distance from home won’t be a factor for you either?

JuJu Smith: “No. I’m going to go as far as I can, as long as I get out there. “

Sam Webb: What about timeline? Do you have a time frame by which you would like to make a decision?

JuJu Smith: “Yes, kind of. I will most likely probably commit after the college season, you know, I want to look into the schools and how they’re doing, and how the coaching staff is reacting to these kind of games, in bad situations, good situations. I don’t want to commit too early and then have second thoughts about it, and then fall back on that, so yeah, waiting until after college season because I want to be smart and not commit too early, put all my focus into one school (right now). “

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