Just Doing His Thing

Not long after he ran a 4.28 second 40-yard dash at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, Branden Smith lined up for another run at it. The speedster from Atlanta, Ga., spit out a ridiculous time.

Branden Smith ran a 4.19.

"It felt great," the four-star athlete from Washington High stated. "Nobody expected me to run that. I'm just loving it right now.

"People just now are calling me about it, and emailing me saying great time. It's all on the internet now."

Those were hand times taken at the Under Armour/Scout.com Combine, but anyway you slice it, they're fast nevertheless.

If you want electronic verification, check the class AAAA state championship results in the 100-meter dash. Smith ran a 10.56, the fifth-fastest time in Georgia state history. However, he took second behind D'Angelo Cherry's 10.33.

"Basically, they plan on me doing football and track," Smith said of college recruiters. He is up to 28 scholarship offers from the likes of LSU, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

"It's a thing I do to stay in shape, and something to do to stay out of trouble and stay healthy. I train for track but it's not that big, how everybody else is into track, really love's track. Me, I'm just out there running and doing my thing."

While Smith is getting emails about his most recent 40-time, he is also getting daily messages from Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown. Smith still remains high on the Irish's list, although they have yet to offer.

"Just keeping up the good word," Smith said. Notre Dame sees Smith as a cornerback, but he could just as easily play receiver and return kicks anywhere. "Just basically life and doing the right things. He said recruiting is going real good for them, a high recruiting class last year. They're big on academics, they have one of the top academic programs. I'm really interested in academics."

Smith, who has a 3.0 GPA, is still sticking to his guns about not having any favorites, and any program still has the opportunity to showcase why they're the school for him.

"I'm open to everybody," Smith said. "SEC, ACC, Pac 10, it really don't matter where I play. I'm a hard worker and going to make my own decision. Going far is nothing to me. If I have to go far, I'm going to go far. If I have to stay close, I'll stay close. It's about getting to know the coaches and finding a place I can spend four years. That's really what I'm looking for right now.

"I'm trying to visit some more schools, but right now, I'm working around my football schedule. We're doing 7-on-7s and working out, and any free time I get I'm trying to visit colleges.

"I might go to Florida, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, and Rutgers. Those are the schools I can remember right now. And it's going to be some more schools."

Possibly Notre Dame if they decide to throw its name into the hat soon.

"I'm going to narrow it down in the middle of the season. I know everyone is ready for me to narrow it down. I'm going to make a top five in the middle of the season."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories