One of the more dynamic athletes in the northeast this year is ultra-versatile Brandon Smith of New Brunswick (NJ) High School. The four-star prospect according to Scout.com has starred on both sides of the ball and his seen interest in his talents skyrocket over the last couple of months.
As a junior, Smith tallied 670 yards rushing and nine touchdowns while adding 1,053 yards and 16 more scores through the air. On defense the rising senior collected 60 tackles and nine interceptions on his way to AP all-state honors. While he has the potential to excel at several spots in college, Smith says simply the opportunity to play early motivates him more than any specific position.
"Right now, all the colleges are pretty much telling me they are recruiting me as an athlete," said Smith. "They tell me I can come in and possibly play quarterback, wide receiver, safety or linebacker. As for me, the position doesn't matter so much. I just want to play whatever will allow me to get on the field first."
One school that has made it onto Smith's early top five list is NC State. Smith said the Pack offered back during the spring and he's impressed with what he's learned so far about the Wolfpack program.
"I really like the coaching staff there and their style of play." he said. "They always seem to control the tempo. I actually studied their QB's when I was a sophomore trying to learn the position. They also have great academics. One of their coaches came by this spring and let me know I had an offer so they're definitely a school I'm considering."
Smith rounded out his top five and talked about his reported favorite- Michigan.
"Right now my top five would be Michigan, NC State, Wisconsin, Iowa and Rutgers," said Smith. "Michigan is a favorite of mine but it's not like it's a done deal I'm going there. I have five core schools out of the 30 or so offers I have and those are the ones I'm heavily considering."
When it does come time to settle on a school, Smith has several factors that will weigh heavily into his decision.
"It's a really big decision because it's not just about playing football," said Smith. "I want to know if it's a place where I can spend the next four years of my life. I also want to look at the academics and check out the graduation rate. I'm going to look at how many players each school is recruiting at my position. So, it's really a lot that goes in to it. Whichever school can answer the most of my questions is the one I'm going to choose."
Smith says he plans to announce his college decision at the US Army all-american bowl if he is selected. If not, he will announce his choice on signing day.