Smith Talks Pitt Visit

Pitt's facilities and track record of getting players into the NFL a big plus for Orlando linebacker LaQuentin Smith

LaQuentin Smith decided last week to take an official visit to Pittsburgh. It didn't take him too long to decide that it was a good decision. Not even the five-degree temperature on Friday night could change his mood.

"It went very well," Smith said. "I liked it. It was a pro facility. I like the school aspect. The coaches are real good. I had a phenomenal visit to Pittsburgh."

Smith could feel the vibe, as his plane from Orlando was full of a number off football fans coming to town for Sunday's AFC Championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets.

"The whole plane was Steeler fans, it was crazy," Smith said. "That's unique because that means you have an NFL team in your backyard, in that field. You can be a part of that team. It was my first time in Pittsburgh. I really enjoyed myself. I saw the compassion for football support for Pitt and the Steelers."

Redshirt freshman linebacker Kevin Adams served as Smith's host for the weekend. Friday started off with a tour of the facilities, which obviously left an impression on Smith. He brought up the NFL connection more than a few times.

On Saturday, Smith had a chance to take a tour of campus. He had a chance to set foot in the Cathedral of Learning for the first time, which also made an impression on him.

"I've never been in one of them before," Smith said. "I was actually able to go to the 42nd floor, where most people can't go. I got to see the whole outlet of Pittsburgh, which is pretty unique. I talked to the Chancellor. I had never done that before either. I learned some pretty neat stuff on the academic side.

"It was pretty good, I actually had the best time. It showed me a lot. I met a lot of people at the academic center, the life skills center. Their academic support is very strong."

Smith also said he'd like to major in sports marketing, if he were to come to Pitt.

Saturday night, Smith, along with all the recruits and their hosts, took in an evening at Dave and Buster's at the Waterfront. The restaurant, which has a separate game room from the restaurant, was host to a basketball shooting contest, where Smith says he won amongst all the athletes in attendance.

"We played a couple games to see who is the better basketball shooter," Smith said. "I beat them three times, the recruits against the players."

As for where Pitt stands, Smith will know in a little over a week. He is still scheduled to take an official visit to West Virginia this coming weekend. When he returns from Morgantown, he expects to make a decision by next Monday or Tuesday. It does seem that in every facet--facilities, campus, coaches, scheme, academics and tradition--Pitt is in good shape with Smith.

"I'll know then," Smith said. "I'll be trying to make my decision after West Virginia, maybe next Monday or Tuesday. I know signing day is right around the corner.

"The Pitt coaches, they were just being a good sport with me. I told them I loved it here, and 'here's the situation.' I like Pittsburgh's national championships. I didn't even know they had nine. That was pretty neat to see."


Panther More Top Stories