Cornerback Rashard Smith from Dublin (GA) High School has been high atop the NC State recruiting wish-list for quite some time. The talented defensive back received an offer from the Pack earlier in the year and connections to the Dublin program through Wolfpack linebackers coach Andy McCollum have helped forge State as a major player for his commitment.
Smith arrived in Raleigh last week during the Pack’s football camp for what appeared to be simply another unofficial visit. The rising senior has been to Raleigh several times but after watching the drills and seven on seven competition, Smith decided to take part in the action. It quickly became apparent why the Wolfpack coaches hope to make him a part of their class of 2009.
At 5-10, 180 pounds, Smith is a dual threat athlete who is a solid prospect on offense but likely projects at cornerback on the next level. During seven on sevens, he was able to blanket virtually every receiver he covered. In just a short period of time, Smith logged four interceptions while breaking up several passes. He has impressive quickness and the hips coaches love to see in a corner. When all was said and done, Smith felt good about his performance.
“Camp went really well,” said Smith. “I wasn’t going to work out at first and then I decided to go ahead and do it. I think I did pretty good.”
With a brother currently playing for Shaw, Smith has been a frequent visitor to Raleigh. However, he felt this trip was a little better than other ones he’s taken in the past- mainly because of the opportunity to get out and play some football.
“I’ve been up to State before but being able to go out there and play made this trip a whole lot more fun,” he said. “I had seen a lot of the campus before but this time I had a chance to go see a lot more of it.
“I had a chance to spend some time talking to coach McCollum. He was just telling me that he felt like I could be a big help for them.”
Last year, Smith accounted for better than 2,500 all-purpose yards on offense while amassing 59 tackles and nine interceptions on defense. Headed into the 2008 season he is considered to be one of Georgia’s top returning players. That potential has helped lead to scholarship offers from the likes of NC State, Wake Forest, UNC, East Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern. With so many options on the table, Smith continues to take a wait and see approach to recruiting.
“I really like State right now but I’m just going to play my cards because I don’t want to rush anything.”
Smith has plans to attend camp at Vanderbilt and that will be his last stop of the summer.