2016 TE Excited by Early U-M Offer

2016 Flower Mound (Tex.) TE Kaden Smith received some long awaited news Wednesday evening when Michigan officially extended him a scholarship offer. GoBlueWolverine caught up with the rising sophomore to reflect upon his season, the growth of his game, get the latest on his interest in the Maize & Blue, and much much more.

Sam Webb:  So first things first… was the Michigan offer something that you were expecting? Did you see it coming? 

Kaden Smith:  “This summer I saw it coming in the long run.  I just wasn’t really sure when it was going to happen.  I am definitely excited it happened.” 

Sam Webb:  Before we talk about recruiting and everything, how did things go for you on the football field this past year? 

Kaden Smith:  “Definitely really good.  As a freshman I did alright, but this year I was just trying to get faster and not try to get too big and heavy but still be able to block.  I had about 40 catches and eight touchdowns.” 

Sam Webb:  For people who haven’t seen you play, describe your game.  Give me a scouting report.

Kaden Smith:  “Definitely goes up for the ball.  I mean I love when the quarterback would just lob it up to me and I’ll fight and go get it.  Blocking, I mean, I can block in open field, they put me out at the wide out and they still have bubbles to the inside guy and I’ll get the little corner.  Also in H-back and full back and they can put me in that tight end and with my hand on the ground and block and run routes.” 

Sam Webb:  Are there any players you watch that you try to emulate or people say that you are similar to?  

Kaden Smith:  “Definitely like Jason Witten.  I’ve always been longtime fan of his, Jimmy Graham down at New Orleans.  He is also a basketball player and he is real lengthy.” 

Sam Webb:  Michigan offered you tonight.  Where does that take you to offer wise?  What over schools have offered you so far? 

Kaden Smith:  “Baylor, OU, Texas Tech, Alabama, Clemson, I think that’s it.” 

Sam Webb:  Take me back to your Michigan visit experience (Smith visited U-M last July 28 for the "Big House BBQ" Junior Day).  What was that like?  What did you think when you were up in Ann Arbor?   

Kaden Smith:  “It was absolutely great.  I mean the weather was kind of chilly but great facilities and a great coaching staff.” 

Sam Webb:  Have you visited any of the other schools that have offered you? 

Kaden Smith:  “I visited Florida State this summer.  That I have been offered by?  Yeah, I visited OU and pretty much all of them except Baylor and Texas Tech.”

Sam Webb:  Michigan kind of sticks out like a sore thumb when it comes to distance from home.  You mentioned a lot of schools in the south…obviously a lot of schools in the Big 12 region.  At the end of the day is that going to be a hindrance for Michigan in recruiting you, how far away from home they are? 

Kaden Smith:  “It’s not.  I’m also interested in Stanford and that is all the way across the country.  My parents are moving down to Florida when I get out of high school.  So, I don’t really mind traveling at all.” 

Sam Webb:  You mentioned the coaching staff.  I know Coach Funk has been the guy recruiting you.  Just give me your impressions of Coach Funk thus far? 

Kaden Smith:  “He seems like a great guy.  He came in and watched my basketball game last night.  He seems just like a great guy and great coach.” 

Sam Webb:  When you called did he talk to you at all about potentially getting back up on a visit or attending camp?

Kaden Smith:  “He asked me call Coach Nussmeier.  I am going to call him later this week and I am sure they will talk to me about that.” 

Sam Webb:  His arrival in Ann Arbor, is that something you took notice of? 

Kaden Smith:  “I just found out about 10 minutes ago that he came to Michigan.  I wasn’t really aware of that.” 

Sam Webb:  Is that something that makes a difference to you? 

Kaden Smith:  “Well I mean, I really liked their offense before because they were double tight ends.  I am sure they won’t change too much with Coach Nussmeier.”

Sam Webb:  Do you know Stephen Hopkins at all or the Hopkins family, being from Flower Mound?  If so have you been able to talk to them about Michigan? 

Kaden Smith:  “I am very good friends with his brother, Nate.  Me and him met in like sixth grade.  So we are friends since then.” 

Sam Webb:  Have they talked to you at all about Michigan? 

Kaden Smith:  “I haven’t really talked to them too much about it.  All I know is Nate really loves it up there and it is pretty cold up there but he loves it.” 

Sam Webb:  Let’s talk decision criteria.  What are going to be the most significant factors in your choice? 

Kaden Smith:  “Great education definitely and I just want to get along with the coaching staff, which I understand that they can leave at any time but those are the two big things I am looking for right now.” 

Sam Webb:  You just said that education is going to be a huge deal.  I know it’s really early for you.  Do you know what you want to major in yet? 

Kaden Smith:  “I’m not quite sure about that yet.” 

Sam Webb:  What about timeline.  You still have a long time to reach a decision.  Have you kind of game planned when you’d like to do that yet? 

Kaden Smith:  “I have not.  I was hoping to like, end of junior year but now that I think about it, I just want to make sure it is the right choice and I want to visit all the schools as much as possible.  I think it will come later on.” 

Sam Webb:  This is the toughest question I’m going to ask you.  Are there any schools that are sticking out for you at this point? 

Kaden Smith:  “Wow, I think most of all…I’m really looking at not just their records but the coaching and the education.  I mean Stanford has great coaches and a great education there and I understand Michigan does also.  So, I mean, I’m not really sure yet.” 

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