Smallwood Focused on Four

Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.) three-star running back Wendell Smallwood has his eyes on four schools with a West Virginia visit looming this weekend. Smallwood does not have a leader, but discussed the four programs standing out and when a decision could be coming.

A weekend visit to West Virginia will play a huge role in the recruitment of Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.) three-star running back Wendell Smallwood.

Smallwood has his eyes on four schools — West Virginia, Rutgers, Auburn and Connecticut — and his second trip to Morgantown, W.V., may go a long way.

"This is an important trip," Smallwood said. "I've been up there once and this one, I really want to evaluate the school and see if it's good for me. It might be my last one there. It's important and everything."

Smallwood will visit WVU with teammate Daikiel Shorts. The Mountaineers have been a major school of interest for Smallwood, but he has not seen enough from the program yet.

"I like the coaches," he said. "I've always liked the school and the tradition. I went up there before and I have a close relationship with my position coach. They got to work with me and they loved me. They talk to me the most. They're recruiting me hard and trying to get me down there. Just the vibe I get from all of the coaches is what's good."

Smallwood is most familiar with Rutgers, where he has been a handful of times with his team. While attending the school's passing camp in June, Smallwood spent 1-on-1 time with both head coach Kyle Flood and running backs coach Norries Wilson.

"I liked it a lot when I went up there," Smallwood said. "I've been up there a ton of times. Every time I've been up there, I love the facilities. I love the head coach and the running backs coach. I get the chance to chat with them. I sat around briefly and sort of met all the coaches. I like the town. It's a great football town."

Connecticut emerged as a late contender for Smallwood, he said, where the Huskies have been upfront about the opportunities they are willing to give him if he commits.

"I went there for a 7-on-7 and I liked it a lot," Smallwood said. "I've talked with the head coach, coach Paul Pasqualoni. He's been telling me I'll get a chance to start right away as their four-down back. They think I'm really going to fit in their system."

Many of Smallwood's options have running backs committed already, however. Rutgers has Dontea Ayres, West Virginia has Zaire Williams and Auburn has Jordan Wilkins.

Smallwood says he would have no problem committing to a school that already has a running back, but understands that schools may not want to bring in two.

"I actually like competition," he said. "I don't like things to be given to me. I like working hard for something and I want to go somewhere where they're going to make me work and not everything's going to be handed to me. That's why I love the game. I like rising to the challenge."

Smallwood has seen the majority of his star-studded team make verbal commitments already, but does not want to rush it himself.

"It's tough because me and Daikiel are kind of the only ones that haven't committed," he said. "I don't want to wait too much longer, but I don't think I'm ready yet. If my next visit or two goes well, I think I'll be ready to decide before the season, but I'm not sure. I may have to take officials."

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