Antone Smith: Strong and Fast is the New Fad

Florida running back Antone Smith's size isn't keeping big-time programs from recruiting him.


More and more short, stocky running backs are making a name for themselves. And when you throw in the fact that Antone Smith has been clocked at 4.29 twice at NIKE Football Camps, you have one super prospect.

"I think my height is an advantage for me," said Smith. "I try to use every asset that I have to my advantage. Not everybody is as strong as me, and certainly not everybody is as fast as me. And while many are taller, I use my height to my advantage. I can run with the ball and hide behind my blockers and I am on a defender before he knows it, and I can either run over him or I can run around him."

A part-time starter as a freshman, Smith goes into his senior year with 3,543 yards and 43 touchdowns. Last season Smith rushed 1,023 yards in only five games and 18 touchdowns. Smith can bench 375 pounds and he has a vertical jump of 33-inches.

"I don't know how to describe my running style," said Smith. "I have picked up little things from a number of different running backs. I have a unique style I think as I just do what I need to do to pick up yards and get the ball in the end zone. I can make the first defender miss and then I have enough speed to take it to the end zone. I just let my natural instincts take over."

Smith took unofficial visits to N.C. State, Rutgers, Miami, Florida State and South Florida, and he has been offered by over 50 schools at this point.

"My recruiting is pretty much open, and I am in no big hurry to get it down at this point," said Smith. "I am going to take my time because this is a one-shot deal. I am going to take advantage of the recruiting process to learn everything I can about the schools that I am interested in. I am looking at everybody right now."

Smith isn't sure where he will visit. Smith says he has not ruled anybody out, but schools mentioned most consistently with him are Florida, Florida State, Georgia, OU, Michigan, North Carolina State, Miami and Rutgers.

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