Smith having a monster senior season

Linebacker Quin Smith was one of South Carolina's earlier commitments in the 2009 recruiting class after pledging to the Gamecocks back in June. The hard-hitting prospect had flown beneath the proverbial recruiting radar up until that point, but Smith is having a monster season on both sides of the ball this fall and is establishing himself as one of the better prospect in the Tar Heel State.

Smith, who measures in at a solid 6'0" and 205 pounds, has helped lead his Hibriten team to a 7-1 record so far this season, and the Panthers are currently ranked fourth in the state in the 2A classification.

It's certainly no surprise that Smith has played a key role in Hibriten's success thus far. In his junior season last fall Smith played nearly 120 snaps a game, totaling 1,320 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns on offense while posting a mind boggling 182 tackles on defense. This season Smith is once again wreaking havoc on defense and is actually on pace to surpass last year's statistics. Not surprisingly, he is still a featured piece of the Panthers' rushing attack as well.

"I don't know my exact numbers, but I think I'm pretty close to passing (last year's number of tackles). I also have five or six interceptions," said Smith. "I have around 800 yards (rushing) and 14 touchdowns at fullback."

With such a productive year on the field, it's no wonder that schools like Michigan State and East Carolina are continuing to recruit Smith. But the talented Tar Heel State prospect says he remains firm in his commitment to the Gamecocks.

"I'm still firm in my commitment to South Carolina," Smith vowed. "I talk with Coach (Ray) Rychleski every week, and he's always honest with me. I'm really looking forward to (being a Gamecock)."

Smith made it down to Columbia for USC's game against Georgia earlier this fall, and he was blown away by the game day atmosphere that he witnessed at Williams-Brice Stadium.

"I went to the Georgia game earlier this season, and the atmosphere was great. It was crazy," he said emphatically. "Being a part of something like that, I'm just so excited about it."

He has also taken notice of the strong play from Coach Ellis Johnson's defense, and he's looking forward to competing for a spot on that unit next fall.

"It looks to me like everybody plays hard. They're giving their all and playing with a lot of intensity," he noted. "If I get in there and work real hard, Coach Ray says I'll have a chance at early playing time. I'm looking forward to being a part of that."

While the Gamecocks are recruiting Smith at outside linebacker, the versatile gridiron star says he would like to receive a look at fullback once arriving at South Carolina.

"Right now they're telling me defense, but the last time I talked with Coach Ray he said something about talking to the offensive coaches about me getting a look at fullback," he said. "I like playing defense, but I feel I'm better at fullback. I think I could play fullback if I'm given a chance to show what I can do on offense."

No matter what side of the ball Smith is playing on, he brings a physical, blue-collar brand of play to the gridiron and serves as a leader for his teammates.

"I guess I'd say I'm pretty explosive. I really like hitting too," he replied when asked to describe himself as a player. "I'm also a good leader. I'm not really a vocal leader, but I try to lead by my actions."

Smith, who may visit USC again this weekend for the Tennessee game, is excited about the standout recruiting class the Gamecocks are putting together, and he's already counting down the days until his college career begins next year.

"It looks like they're bringing in a really good recruiting class. They should finish strong this year, and next year we can do some really big things."

With a winning attitude like that - not to mention his knack for delivering bone crushing hits and piling up statistics - Smith is sure to become a fan favorite during his career at South Carolina.

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