More Awards & Acknowledgements

Rutgers commitment Abdul Smith has started to garner significant post season recognition. To date, he has been named AP first-team All-State and Philadelphia Inquirer Southeast Pennsylvania defensive player of the year. In addition, he has collected more acclaim and attention from other programs.

The 3-star DB has been nominated to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. The game features 88 of the best high school seniors in the country and will be played on January 2, 2009, at Coastal Carolina University's Brooks Stadium. Smith will not be the lone Rutgers recruit in the game. Andre Civil will display his pass rushing abilities in the game.

Smith has also been selected to play in the 12th Annual New Jersey-Northeast All-Star Classic and is awaiting an invitation to the Big 33 All-Star Game, featuring the top 'ballers from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

A nomination to all-star teams is not the only attention that Smith is getting. Although Smith is verbally committed to Rutgers, a number of other schools are still contacting him to sway his commitment. Some of the schools are Pittsburgh, Maryland, Colorado and North Carolina. Indeed, Smith did take an official visit to Colorado earlier this fall.

However, Rutgers fans have nothing to fear as Smith is firmly committed to the Scarlet Knights.

Even during the Scarlet Knights' early season struggles, Smith did not change his commitment but was overly impressed by the turnaround.

"The season was a great turnaround. The record did not matter to me because I knew where I wanted to go. They could have gone 1-11 and it would not have mattered …The turnaround was great for Rutgers, the players and the state of New Jersey."

Smith is even talking to other uncommitted players such as Khalil Wilkes and Justin Brown to have them join him at Rutgers. Both of these players were on Smith's recruiting visit. He feels that both of them have Rutgers among their top selections but will need to take additional visits before making a final decision.

In addition to staying in contact with uncommitted players, Smith has been in constant communication with Tom Savage, Mike Larrow and Aaron Hayward. Each of them reaches out to other members of the Rutgers class outside of this group.

"This recruiting class has a special bond. We have a goal of first winning the Big East then the National Championship."

Individually, Smith is focused on a few goals - "contribute and play as early as possible and become the best player I can be.

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