"He has 'it,' " said Southeastern Coach Dion Godfrey to GoBlueWolverine regarding his star pupil Fred Smith. "He is the type of talent that plays on Sundays. He is really, really good right now, but he doesn't know how good he is. We put him on defense because he is an athlete and he wound up getting eight interceptions last year. He is just a remarkable athlete. He is 6-3, 212 and runs a high 4.4 and runs a 10.5 - 10.6 100. It's hard for somebody to check him one on one. He is a Braylon Edwards type of receiver."
That vast football talent wasn't always so obvious to Smith. The versatile athlete had always fancied himself more of a basketball player. Over the past few years he finally began to realize that he has the potential on the gridiron. His concentration on the sport has resulted in the advancement of both his game and in the recruiting attention he received from major colleges.
"This is only my second year playing football," Smith explained to GBW. "I've been playing basketball. I stopped playing football in seventh grade. Schools just started recruiting me after this season. I had a good season, but I think I could have had a better one. I was a first team All City guy. I had like 50 catches for 600 yards and eight touchdowns. I recorded seven or eight interceptions as a DB."
The Michigan Wolverines were among the earliest to take notice of youngster's enormous upside and they recently upped the ante in his recruitment by stepping forward with his first big time offer at their junior day last weekend.
"We were checking out some of the facilities and then the wide receiver coach, Erik Campbell, told me to come upstairs because he wanted me to talk to Coach Carr," Smith said recalling Saturday's events. "I met with him in his office and he told me that he was offering me a scholarship. That was my first time going up there, but I'm supposed to be going back up there so we can talk some more."
Smith's familiarity with Maize & Blue will surely increase in the coming weeks thanks to those future visits and to his contact with a number of past and current Wolverines.
"Braylon Edwards went to King with my brother's best friend," Smith said. "I'm supposed to start working out with him. I talked Manny (aka Corperryale Harris) at the game on Saturday. We played on the Family (AAU squad) together. I also know Deshawn Sims and I played against Jerret Smith the summer of my ninth grade year."
While those friendly Michigan ties and the early offer are feathers in the Wolverines' cap, Smith isn't ready to name them his favorite. There are a number of other teams showing interest in the talented wideout, and he wants to weigh his options a bit.
"I'm probably going to wait until after my senior season to make a decision," added Smith. "I'm going to go on some official visits first. I know I want visit Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State. You could say that's my top three. I know I'm going to a junior day at Ohio State in a couple of weeks. USC is a good school, so I might want to visit there. We'll see.
"(The decision) is going to come down to playing time, how I fit in with their style of play, and of course my education."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Smith in the coming weeks.