Football Comes Naturally For Smith

First Coast (Jacksonville, FL) standout safety Arkee Smith committed to South Carolina in early November, and he will combine with teammate Jamire Williams to lock down opposing offenses in the Gamecock secondary for years to come. While Williams is the more highly touted of the two prospects, Smith can be a difference maker in his own right. Read inside for full story.

The 6'1, 190 pound Smith, who runs a 4.5 second forty yard dash, shared what factors stood out to him about South Carolina in the recruiting process.

"It's close to Savannah (Georgia), which is my home town. I liked the environment and the surroundings and stuff too," said Smith. "I really followed Coach Spurrier when he was with the Gators, so I knew it would be a great team to go to. I really think they're going to win an SEC Championship soon."

Smith has kept in touch with the USC coaches ever since his commitment, and he believes that he will have the opportunity to work into the rotation early on.

"They told me if I come out there and work hard, then I can get in the rotation. It's really just about how I perform. When I get up there, I'm looking to get in the rotation."

When asked to describe himself as a player, Smith replied that he is just a natural playmaker.

"It's like everything comes natural for me, because I've been playing football since I was a little kid. I've got vision, and I know how to play the ball. I react to stuff like it's natural, and I'm already there."

The Sunshine State sleeper discussed what goals he hopes to accomplish in his freshman season with the Gamecocks.

"I want to go in, do my work, and be focused on football. I want to work hard and get in the rotation."

Coach Fred Culver, who coached Smith at First Coast High School, shared what Gamecock fans can expect to see from his former playmaker in the coming years.

"Every game we played, no receiver came across the middle because of his presence," said Culver. "On runs, he always plays downhill and just crushes people. He's a strong, physical kid who can run, and he's not scared of nobody. He's going to be a good football player for South Carolina."

Culver also discussed why he believes Smith will be successful in the rigors of the SEC.

"He loves the weight room. He's one of the strongest guys on the team, and he's very physical. He's rangy and has long arms, and he's very tough. He runs good and has speed. He's just a tough kid."

Smith closed by sharing a message for the South Carolina fans.

"Get ready. I'll be there soon, and I'll see you when I get there."

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