Top Peach State LB To Visit Ann Arbor

One position of need for the University of Michigan football program in this recruiting year is linebacker. Jim S' No. 11 player at the spot reports a Michigan offer, and will visit Ann Arbor soon. GoBlueWolverine Magazine spoke with him on Wednesday, and he said his interest in Michigan began after a recent Wolverine loss. <br>

The Michigan defense has been a concern for fans after struggling last season against teams with mobile quarterbacks. However, the Wolverines 38-37 last-second loss to Texas in the Rose Bowl actually put them high on the list for one of the top linebackers in the country. "I became a Michigan fan after the Rose Bowl," Toryan Smith of Rome, Ga., High School said. "They play some exciting football and I'm down with that."

Smith reports 14 offers, including Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Auburn and Michigan. "On Feb. 18 Coach (Mike) Debord called my school and told me I had an offer from Michigan waiting for me," he said. "I called Coach (Lloyd) Carr later that day and he confirmed it. I'm going up to Notre Dame and Michigan this weekend; it will be the first time I've been to Michigan." Smith said he attended camp at Notre Dame last year, as well as Michigan State, Auburn, Clemson and Florida State. This year he has been to Junior Days at Florida and Georgia, and he's unofficially visited Auburn, Oklahoma and Nebraska. He said he will attend the Nike Camp at Georgia in May.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Smith racked up 112 tackles during his junior campaign, including 19 for loss and eight sacks. He also had three interceptions. He said that while he plays some offense, he sees his future at the linebacker position. "Nebraska and Notre Dame are recruiting me for the outside spot but everyone else sees me in the middle," he said. "I am a linebacker in college all the way. I love to hit and that's why I love playing middle linebacker." He reports a 4.6 time in the 40.

Claiming a 3.1 grade-point-average to go along with a score of 18 on the ACT, Smith says academics will be a major factor in the school he chooses. "I want to major in accounting or some kind of business, and I will be looking at that part of school closely," he said. "I am also looking at the campus life and the depth charts. I'm not afraid of competition, but I don't want to go to a school and sit behind six or seven linebackers."

Smith said he is in no hurry to make a decision, wanting to get as much information about the schools as possible. "I want to take all of my official visits before I decide," he said. "I'll probably take a couple during the season and the rest after."

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