Raytown's Aldon Smith a Rising Star

It took a bit longer than expected for Raytown (Mo.) defensive end-tight end Aldon Smith to appear on the radar of big-time college football programs, and now that he's there, he's in no rush to decide which one he'll play for.

"I don't know, either before the season or after the season," said Smith, a quickly rising a 6-foot-6, 230-pound rising senior who has offers from Mizzou, Nebraska and Kansas State, in addition to heavy interest from Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Iowa and Iowa State. "None of them" are the favorite.

That said, Smith does like Mizzou a lot. He's being recruiting not only by assistant coach Andy Hill, but also by MU commit Andrew Jones. The two basketball standouts became friendly while playing against one another on the hardwood. They talk often and recently took a fishing trip together.

"Me and Andrew talk a lot. We've always been good friends, so it's more of a relationship thing than a recruiting thing," Smith said.

For many college coaches, though, it most certainly will be a recruiting thing. Smith, who has no preferences as to how far he goes from home for college, is sure to only see his stock rise. A excellent athlete, he averaged about 16 points and 11 rebounds for one of the state's best basketball teams last year. A potential impact player on offense and defense on the football field, he's also been known to throw down a high-flying dunk or two.

"I can do a little something-something," he said, laughing.

He can also do a little something on the gridiron. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native, recorded 12 tackles for loss last year along with nearly 300 yards receiving and three touchdowns. He runs extremely well for his size, is aggressive and athletic, and could star on either side of the ball in college, though he believes defensive end could be his meal ticket.

He said his choice of school will rely heavily on knowing that it's "somewhere I can get to the next level [the NFL]. I always wanted to. Hopefully I'll be good enough."

He likes MU's program and had a good time visiting for the spring game.

"I like them a lot. I like the coaching staff and everything," he said. Hill "said all the best players should stay in Missouri and play for Mizzou."

Again, though, he's in no rush to commit. He'll take a two-week trip to Atlanta to visit his mother and plans to visit Oklahoma and Nebraska when he returns. It's safe to say the MU staff will be keeping close tabs on him all the way.

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