Smith Focusing on Four After Weekend Break

2015 Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County four-star linebacker Roquan Smith is focused on four schools as he continues his recruiting process: Michigan, Georgia, UCLA and Texas A&M. Smith’s coach talks with Scout about the plan moving forward.

A plan was in place.

2015 Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County four-star linebacker Roquan Smith was set to announce his commitment on live television on signing day, choosing between UCLA, Georgia, Michigan and Texas A&M.

And Smith went along with that plan, verbally committing to the Bruins. Just hours later, reports surfaced indicating Smith’s lead recruiter at UCLA, Jeff Ulbrich, would be heading to the NFL as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons.

This changed a lot in the mind of Smith and now the 6-foot-1, 209-pounder has a decision to make once again.

“He’s going to pen it back up to all four schools,” Smith’s coach Larry Harold told Scout. “He’s going to take the weekend off and be a teenager; go to a basketball game, hang out.

“Next week start talking to schools again and reviewing the schools again. He wants to be 100-percent sure about the decision he’s making.”

For several student-athletes, signing day is met with excitement and the vindication of years of hard work going into the signatures placed on a national letter of intent.

For others, like Smith, the day was filled with stress and pressure with all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding his decision.

“He’s actually relieved,” Harold said. “Like I told him, and the relief comes from the fact he gets more time. He went on five straight trips so of course the last trip you take is still fresh on your mind and he didn’t have like two days to hash everything out. He was conflicted up until he went on television. I told him you can go with your heart now and not turn a letter in and make a better decision because I want you to be 100-percent sure.

“I don’t have a dog in this race; I want to protect my player. One of my babies is left that’s still undecided and you don’t’ have to rush, son. You can take as much time as you can and all the scholarship offers still stand.”

Smith’s coach has spoken with coaches from all four schools to assure each of his player’s interest in them, but also to affirm the offers remain intact.

Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin is one of those coaches, recently heading to Ann Arbor after coordinating the defense at the University of Florida.

“Coach Durkin is great, he’s been great since he was at Florida, been there for Roquan since his junior year,” Harold said. “If he was still there I think things would be a lot different but that’s a different story.

“Colleges want these kids to make commitments but the coaches, and I understand the business, but the coaches take better offers elsewhere. Kids are getting an early look into what I call grown folks business and it’s unfair.”

Looking back on Smith’s official visit to Michigan, Harold recalls hearing very positive things about the Wolverines.

“At Michigan he enjoyed the trip; it was professional,” Harold said. “Coach Durkin told him his arms are always open. Durkin is great.

“He’s just been texting back and forth but I told a lot of the coaches to kind of back off for the weekend and then we’ll get back to it next week.”

And before long Smith could finally have his college destination in mind.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories