GARNETT SMITH, OLB, ARLINGTON LAMAR, TEXAS:
JH: How is your season going?
GS: We are 2-4 on the year, but playing close in every game. In all of our losses we haven't given up more than 18 points in a game. Our offense is only scoring seven points a game and we are playing a bunch of young players that right now don't appear to be ready for varsity action. I played tailback in our first three games and we moved the ball all over the field. I haven't played offense since the third game of the year and I am still the leading scorer on the team and the leading rusher on the team. That shows you the kind of problems we are having on offense.
On defense, I am playing well. I have 42 tackles, but this has been my worst year on defense. The way my coach plays me on defense, I just don't understand it. In my two games at middle linebacker I have made 13 and 17 tackles. Then, he moves me to rover back and teams just run away from me. Teams can see me and check away from me or I am isolated on a slot or wideout and I don't get involved in the game. In our defense I am pretty much a free safety and now when college coaches look at me they are watching me covering receivers and that doesn't make any sense.
JH: Didn't you take a visit over the weekend?
GS: I visited Tennessee over the weekend and it was a real nice visit. I really like everything I saw about the game atmosphere. To get a chance to see over 100-thousand fans in a stadium is amazing. To watch the players interact was special. A few of the players told me 'they are not teammates down there, they are brothers.' The coaches, including coach (Phillip) Fulmer, were real cool. They didn't put any pressure on committing and in fact he challenged me to find a better environment than Tennessee. I thought that was confident and special that he felt that good about his school.
JH: Did your visit to Tennessee change your perception of Tennessee or how you think about them?
GS: I have always liked Tennessee. I grew up liking Miami and Tennessee so this visit didn't change my mind about Tennessee. When Tennessee was winning the national championship in 1996 I was pulling for them hard. I have always liked everything about their football program and I wouldn't mind spending the next four years of my life at Tennessee.
JH: One service said that you had committed to Tennessee, is that true?
GS: No, I didn't commit to them at all. I am going to take all my visits and then I then evaluate everything that I know. It will be a while before you hear that I have committed to anybody. I really don't know right now. You never know, but I may visit Florida in the future and really like them. I just don't know right now until I take all my visits. My next visit is to Alabama (12-7) and then I will visit Florida (12-14). I am also going to visit LSU and Oklahoma.
I talked to Oklahoma last week and we didn't know if we were going to be in the playoffs or when they were going to be in a bowl, so we decided to hold off for a while before making that decision. I am also going to visit Texas, so something has to give.
JH: Is Oklahoma still in the picture with you?
GS: I love those coaches at Oklahoma. Coach (Bob) Stoops and (Brent) Venables are great people and they are still in the running for the national title. Then have that one lose, but played well and the way things are going to turn out they could still win the national title. There is no question that Oklahoma is going to be a school I consider until the very end. I can't honestly say how I would rank my schools right now. I guess Tennessee stands out right now, because I haven't seen any other school. When I visit those schools I will probably have a little different viewpoint.
Recruiting: Texas LB not committed to the Vols
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