Smith returns home from Nebraska

Blake Lawrence was in Lincoln as was another linebacker from Kansas, Brian Smith. Smith is a bit different of a body style and a linebacker than Lawrence and both are holding offers from Nebraska. There was little doubt after Big Red Report spoke to Lawrence that he came away impressed, but was the same true for Smith?

The tour at Nebraska will get shorter as the construction completes on the renovations, but on Friday Brian Smith and his father got to tour the old and the new at Lincoln. The 6-foot-2 and 220 pound linebacker from Overland Park (Kans.) St. Thomas Aquinas commented on the long day.

"Yeah, it was a long day," Smith said. "It was because we got to go through the renovations and stuff. We got to tour the old facilities and then tour the new facilities. It went alright."

Smith mentioned that the facilities look amazing, but you kind of had to envision how they were going to look. One thing is for sure and that there will be convenience and having everything close to everything else. Everything right now is still under construction.

"I liked it a lot. I couldn't tell what it was going to look like right now. Everyone still has hard hats on and everything is plywood and sheetrock. I can tell though that everything is going to be real nice."

"Everything comes back to a central area and everything is real close. You don't have to do a lot of walking if you have to be over there to do a lot of things."

This was Smith's first time to Lincoln and to see Nebraska. He had some of the popular conceptions of the state and the area. He could see the stadium immediately on the road into to town and was surprised by how nice Lincoln was.

"My first impression was of surprise. When you think about Nebraska and Lincoln you think of corn fields first. When you get up there you see this real nice place and when we came down 10th street you could see the stadium. It surprised me a lot."

The evaluation period doesn't give anyone a great chance to get a relationship really going. So, while Smith was in Lincoln he really had a chance to sit down and talk with some of the coaches. He felt an immediate connection to his recruiting coach and the head coach at Nebraska.

"We got to talk to Coach Kevin Cosgrove and Coach Bill Callahan. I made a connection with both of them really. I really have a connection with Coach Callahan. He was telling me just about how he loves Kansas City and my god-brother, Troy Brown, plays for UCLA and his son was at UCLA. We hit it off."

An interesting situation for Smith and Nebraska is that he is being recruited by his possible position coach and defensive coordinator. There have to be some ideas about how Smith kind of fits in the picture there in Lincoln possibly.

"We asked about which position he projected me to play and he said that he really wanted athletes to come in that can play MIKE, WILL or SAM. He really projects me as a MIKE because he likes the way I get downhill. The MIKE has a lot of blitzes and he would like to see me there."

A person that Smith compares favorably to according to him, and Coach Cosgrove, is Lance Brandenburgh. Brandenburgh, a St. Thomas Aquinas alum himself, has been seen lining up at all of the linebacker positions and it's really a tribute to his versatility and athleticism.

"He really loves Lance Brandenburgh and he really sees me as the same type linebacker because of our athleticism. With Lance he has had the ability to slide him all over and play him anywhere. He's an athlete and he can play all of those positions. He moves very well and he's comfortable."

Smith traveled there with his father who played college football for Notre Dame. This was the first time that Mr. Smith had a chance to see Nebraska and Brian said that his father came away impressed.

"He thought it was one of the better ones in the Big 12. We have only visited Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State, but he thought going in that they would be one of the better ones. He really liked the coaches and we got to go out to the indoor field and the field is nice."

While the summer just seems to be starting, it is actually wrapping up for Smith and his trips. He has one more coming up next week and that is it. After that, the process won't start again until this fall and official visits. From there though, Smith is unclear how long it will take.

"Next week I think that we are going down to Kansas State. After that it sounds like it's wrapped up for the summer. I am definitely going to take some officially visits. I think with the official visits that I will know right off the bat if that's the place for me or not. If it takes five or if it takes two, I will take how many it takes to come to a decision."

Sometimes players take unofficial trips to see schools that are relatively close to save official visits. Smith said that while Nebraska got an unofficial from him that the will more than likely get an official as well.

"I definitely want to see Nebraska on an official. I have heard nothing but good things about the game day atmosphere and I want to check it out and see if it's true. I am definitely going to go check it out."

Smith has some leaders, but wasn't quite ready to divulge who was on it. He did mention that Nebraska was towards the top. "Right now I do have some sort of a leader board, but I am not sure if I want to release that yet. I am still going to do some research. But, Nebraska would definitely be towards the top."


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