Derrick Smith - the Dillard to RU Pipeline

The Dillard HS pipeline to New Brunswick is alive and well. A number of standout players from the south Florida school were on hand for the recent Greg Schiano Football camp held at Rutgers this past week. We caught up with Derrick Smith, a RB/WR prospect from Dillard, to discuss his Rutgers' impression and his overall recruiting process.

Derrick Smith was one of a number of South Florida players on hand for the Greg Schiano Football camp, held on the campus of Rutgers University this past week.  Derrick hails from Dillard HS in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the same school that brought Rutgers current scat-back, Markis Facyson.  It should therefore be no surprise that Derrick could become part of the Dillard to New Brunswick pipeline.   He was one of a handful of rising Florida seniors on hand to showcase their talents in the Garden State.

In all there were, by my count, a total of  5 prospects from Dillard present at camp, headlined Elijah Hodge, the throwback linebacker that some have favorably compared to Jonathan Vilma.  Also present was Chris McClover, a rangy WR with impressive control and fluidity, whose outstanding performance has earned him an RU offer.  The most intriguing aspect of Chris' game is his height.  Listed at anywhere between 6'2"-6'3", Chris has the potential to play as if he's much bigger.  With additional strength put on his frame, he could vault on to the national scene.

Derrick Smith is listed at 5'11" and 175 pounds.  His primary position is RB, but he has played WR as well.  Derrick arrived on the Rutgers campus on Sunday, during which time most participants had their 40 yard dash, shuttle, and verticals timed and measured.  Derrick ran a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash, twice, and a 4.3 in the shuttle.

The young man's impressions of Rutgers University, the campus, and the area in general were very positive.  "It was my first time in New Jersey.  I liked it.  The facilities and the campus, everything, it was awesome."  The logical question one may want to ask, is whether and where Derrick has visited, which would allow him to make comparisons between various schools.  "I've been to UM and North Carolina State.  NC St. was nice."  The emphasis that Derrick wanted to stress, was that neither of the two places mentioned compared to what he saw at Rutgers.

It should be no surprise by now that coaches Rizzi and Demarest are recruiting Derrick, and that his relationship with them has been formed by their energetic and unambiguous demeanors.  Indeed, coach Rizzi was at Derrick's high school for his spring game.  "They're real. And they're real nice.  It's what you're  looking for," said Derrick in reference to the Rutgers coaches.  ""I just feel fortunate enough to have visited."

Among the schools showing Derrick the most interest are Louisiana-Lafayette, from whom he has received an offer, Minnesota, Auburn, from who he's also received an offer, North Carolina State, and Rutgers.  In no particular order, his Top 5 includes NC St., Auburn, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Minnesota. 

Derrick explained that although Rutgers did not extend an offer, Coach Schiano fully intends to keep in touch with the young man.  On whether he would commit early or wait to take all his visits, Derrick indicated that he had no set timetable right now.

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