Can Nebraska reel in Smith?

Although he is just one state away in Kansas, this player will be a very tough get for Nebraska. Not just Nebraska, he may be a tough get for the in-state schools to get. There is really one offer that he is looking for, but even if he gets it he will go through the process and take some visits. He would be tempted though just to get it over.

This is a very good year for in-state talent in Kansas. One of the best players from Kansas is Brian Smith from Overland Park (Kan.) St. Thomas Aquinas. He has been out training, but not in what would be considered a conventional way.

"I just got done playing tennis with my friend," Smith said. "I do it to keep my feet. I do it to keep my feet, quick. My dad always told me that tennis was good for lateral movement."

Taking advice from dad is usually a good idea, but especially in Brian's case. "Yeah, my dad is Chris Smith. He played for Notre Dame from 1981-1985 and also played in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs."

Typically, players have some sort of spring practice to go through, but not in Kansas. "We don't have spring ball here. We don't work out in the spring other than after school. No seven on seven or anything like that."

"Most coaches came into see my when I had my weights class with my football coach. They get to see me lift weights and I get to do agility drills afterward."

"Some days we have our regular conditioning. Or on some other days we just go out and play basketball and the coaches come in and they see that."

This was the first taste of recruiting for all recruits, first-hand. It was something that a player could get caught up in, but Smith knows better than to let the process overwhelm him.

"It was really flattering. You'd be lifting and then there would be a coach there watching you. I just have to stay humble. I haven't done anything yet. I need to keep working hard."

Success was actually kind of easy for Smith who admits that once he initiated contact that the schools didn't hesitate to contact him in return. "It came real fast. I didn't think that it would come as fast as it did. We made a highlight tape and we just thought we would get some letters. Then I started getting emails and text messages and it came all at once."

There was a long list of schools that came by to see Smith at his school. It was a bit of a whose who list in college football. "Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue, Arizona State, TCU, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Washington, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and some others. I don't think that Nebraska or Iowa came by."

"I am up to ten offers and one of those is verbal. The verbal is from Purdue. They need to see if they have room. Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, Purdue, Washington, Kentucky, Arizona State and Nebraska have all extended written offers."

The Nebraska offer came, but Smith is quite certain that Nebraska didn't come by the school. He admits that the offer was a bit of a surprise, but it is an offer that he is going to take a closer look at in the coming weeks.

"They never came by. They offered about two weeks ago. I talked to them the day that they offered me and we are going to go to Lincoln the day that we are going to Iowa's camp on June 16. That came out of no where, left field."

Nebraska dipping into St. Thomas Aquinas isn't anything new and for a linebacker too. There is another St. Thomas Aquinas alum linebacker that is currently on Nebraska's squad.

"Yeah, Lance Brandenburgh and I are good friends. He was a senior when I was a freshman. I have spoken to him briefly. He has just asked about my recruiting. He really hasn't said anything about trying to get me to Nebraska."

While Nebraska has Smith zeroed in as a linebacker, as does about everyone else, there is one team that has Smith pegged for another position. A position that he hasn't played in a while, but one that he could adjust to given his 6-foot-2.5 and 225 pound frame with 4.65 speed.

"Everyone is looking at me as a linebacker except Texas Tech. They want me to play defensive end. I haven't played that position since my freshman year. My footwork is my biggest strength. I have very little wasted motion. I work hard in the off-season."

Smith is going to have a busy summer if he has anything to say about it. He wants to get out and see the schools this summer. "I already went to Notre Dame's camp. I am heading up to Nebraska and to Iowa. I am thinking about going to Florida. Also I want to go to Michigan."

Many have speculated that Smith would be a slam dunk to commit if Notre Dame offers. Smith says that it would be a huge offer and that he would have to fight the urge to commit, but he is pretty certain that he will go through the process and take some visits.

"That would be a huge offer. People have this perception that once they offer I am just going to commit. I still want to go on official visits, but it would be very hard not to just go ahead and take it. I have been holding out for them."

As far as official visits, Smith might go to some schools a little further away. At least one of them might find their way off of his list considering a recent commit at the linebacker position.

"I have already been out to Arizona State when Notre Dame played their bowl game out there. I would really like to go down to Florida. I really want to see how big the Big House is in Michigan. I would have liked to have seen UCLA, but I am not sure if we will since they just got a commit."

One thing is for sure, with players like Smith, Blake Lawrence, Aaron Allen, Christian Ballard and others that this is a very good year for talent in the state of Kansas.

"It's been a really big year for Kansas. It's a really good year for Kansas High School football. No one cares about us Kansas boys. There's Darren Sproles and Barry Sanders came from Wichita."


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