Gamecocks pick up hard-hitting LB
Smith worked out for the South Carolina coaches on Saturday at USC's prospect camp and received an offer following his impressive showing in Columbia. After taking a couple days to think things over, Smith decided to put an end to the recruiting process and commit to the Gamecocks on Tuesday night.
"I worked out with Coach (Ellis) Johnson and Coach Ray (Rychleski), and after I finished working out they showed me around the campus and everything. After I finished working out they offered me," said Smith. "I liked everything about it. Then they told me everything about the scholarship and everything it pertains. So, I think that's a good deal for me."
The Hibriten High School (Lenoir, N.C.) rising senior described what he believes he did at camp to impress the USC coaches.
"Mostly they liked that I was a hard worker. Because, we're from the mountains and when we got down there, it was so hot and the humidity was so high," Smith said. "That really impressed them that I was pushing myself through the drills."
The productive high school safety was all over the field his junior year making 182 tackles and 4 sacks on defense, while rushing 176 times for 1,074 yards and 17 touchdowns on offense. Smith also caught 16 passes for 246 yards and 4 touchdowns. Despite the impressive all-around stats, Smith was humble about his ability as a player.
"I guess I would say I'm a hard-hitter and very versatile, fast, good for my size. I don't know, you'll just have to see for yourself. I'm not a real big boaster or bragger or anything like that."
The Tar Heel State prospect has high hopes for what Steve Spurrier and staff can accomplish at South Carolina.
"I think it's real good. I think if they're there and with everyone else they're getting, they should be able to go good places."
Smith, who also has offers from East Carolina, Western Carolina and Duke, grew up a UNC fan, but was somewhat put-off by the Tar Heels and the way they handled his recruitment.
"(North) Carolina, they got me down there and they were like, ‘We need to see you before we offer you,' or whatever. And they were like, ‘We're going to offer you when you get there.' But when I got there they didn't even really talk to me that much."
Smith had some comforting words for those Gamecock fans worrying about what might happen if the Tar Heels come forward with an offer now that he is committed to USC.
"I'd probably stay committed to South Carolina as far as what South Carolina put me through. They were really straight-up with me and everything."
Smith, who was also receiving interest from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, NC State and Wake Forest, had a short message for Gamecock Nation following his commitment.
"Just look out for me. Hopefully I'll be there and be able to make the team better."
Smith projects to grow into an outside linebacker at USC and believes he'll contribute early on special teams for the Gamecocks.
Smith is the second prospect in the last week that Rychleski snatched from the North Carolina talent pool, as T.C. Roberson offensive lineman Nick Allison committed to the Gamecocks Saturday.
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