Expert Analysis: U-M Still Strong with Smith South Regional Manager fielded questions from GoBlueWolverine’s Sam Webb about Michigan’s standing with some of the top prospects in his region. The focus of this portion of the interview is Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County LB Roquan Smith. Where to the Wolverines stand in the race for one of the country’s top LB prospects?

Sam Webb:  One of the guys that you have been able to get a line on, more of a line than most of us is, Roquan Smith… the four star linebacker down your way.  He made a visit up to Michigan a couple of weeks ago. People have been asking, where do things stand with Roquan Smith and what kind of chance does Michigan have?

Chad Simmons:  “I’ll start with this… Roquan Smith is not scared or afraid to leave the state of Georgia.  Now I think that’s been made pretty clear by him and the people close to him that kind of run in his circle.  He’s been on numerous unofficial visits outside of Georgia and of course taking a trip to Texas A&M last weekend and Michigan, like you said, two weeks ago.  He’ll be out in Los Angeles, leaving tonight for UCLA, the final official.  I think for me A&M, he had a nice trip.  I think they are really at best a reach for him to go there.  I think USC, which he visited in December, they are out of the game.  I think it’s Michigan, UCLA and of course in-state Georgia.  I’ll say this about UCLA, they were the first school to offer him and that meant a lot to him. That’s really stayed with him through this process.  Him going literally across the country to L.A., I don’t think is out of the question.  Michigan made a very strong impression.  Obviously, the connection he had with D.J. Durkin, that’s what really opened the door Michigan and Jim Harbaugh to get him there as quickly as they did, get him on the campus, the first weekend after the dead period was over and that’s really what has put them in the mix.  Durkin kind of brought him in, but when he got there, it was more about Harbaugh, the history in Ann Arbor, the tradition at Michigan and Durkin kind of stepped back a little bit on that trip and let Michigan and Harbaugh kind of speak for itself.  Roquan left very impressed and I think Michigan is very much in the picture in my eyes based on what I know and what I’m hearing in that final three group.  I think we’ll know around 10:30 on signing day what Roquan does.  He’s been very good about not naming leaders, not a one, two, three.  He’s very coy about what’s going on in his mind.  He has a very tight circle that keeps information very tight.  I think it’ll be Georgia, Michigan or UCLA for Roquan on signing day.”

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