A year ago at this time Jonathan Smith was longing for the day he would be regarded as an on-demand recruit. The 6-1, 235 lb. linebacker had just missed his sophomore season due to knee injuries. When he finally made his way back to the football field for his junior campaign he showed that he hadn’t missed a beat, earning All-Region and conference defensive player of the year honors.
“I had 156 tackles, four sacks, and one interceptions,” Smith said proudly. “I try to emulate Patrick Willis.”
The scholarship offers are now beginning to accumulate. Thus far has added Duke, North Carolina, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Indiana, Georgia Southern, and Michigan. Though pleased with each of those, only one left him in a state of shock.
“(Michigan) was out of the blue,” he said. I did not expect for Michigan or Coach Harbaugh to be even looking or consider me playing for them. One day (a few weeks ago) the defensive line coach hit me up on Twitter. He told me that he wanted to get me on the phone. We got on the phone and we started talking and they were telling me that they needed me in the program. He then gave the phone to the defensive coordinator, Durkin and he’s the one that offered me.”
“I was very excited, but surprised (mostly).”
Now that the news has sunk in Smith has begun thinking more about the possibilities if he were to choose Michigan as his collegiate destination.
“I like everything about them,” the Tar Heel State star said. “They’re a good educational school and they have Coach Harbaugh in there. I think he’s looking to turn things around.”
“I think they really want me. Some people here are saying they just offered me because they didn’t get some other guy, but that’s not the vibe I got from Coach Durkin.”
Needless to say, the Wolverines are in good shape with the talented youngster early stages of his recruitment, by so too is every other program that has offered him up to this point. He claims no favorites at the moment, but hopes to start putting his list in some order after taking more visits.
“I’ve visited Florida State, Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Georgia Southern,” Smith said. “(A Michigan visit will happen) sometime during the spring. I’m also going to visit Georgia, Florida State again and probably Duke.”
“I don’t really know yet (when a decision will come). I’m just playing it by ear. It will come down to being close to the coaching staff, the fan base, education, and just the morale of the school.”