Dr. Phillips athlete LaQuentin Smith, is one of the top defensive prospects in Central Florida, and on Saturday took in the USF Spring game
"The spring game was good, and better than I expected," said Smith. "I thought it was going to be sloppy because of the rain, but it was real good. When we first got there I saw a real big hit by the sideline, and knew it was the real deal."
As a junior Smith, (6'1-208) plays linebacker and strong safety and posted 97 tackles, six tackles for a loss, seven pass break-ups, four forced fumbles, and five fumbles recovered, but is projected to play safety at the next level.
"I was mostly watching the safeties, because that's what's most schools are recruiting me for," said Smith. "I liked how they played, and I like that number 16, he was running from sideline to sideline, and hitting people."
LaQuentin went to Tampa with his grandfather, arrived early and got to talk with Head Coach Skip Holtz, Secondary Coach Rick Smith and Defensive Coordinator Mark Snyder. At that time Smith received some good news.
"When I got there Coach Smith said they watched my film and sent out an offer," said Smith. "That really made me feel great because that's one of the schools I'm favoring the most. It was also the first offer my grandfather seen me get in person, so he was real excited too."
Smith also received an offer from Cincinnati on Saturday, bringing his total to eight. He also has offers from Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado State, Illinois, UCF and West Virginia, plus Oregon, FSU, and Miami are showing interest. With plenty of top schools to choose from, LaQuentin said two programs are standing above the rest.
"USF is right there with South Carolina," said Smith." South Carolina and USF are neck and neck."
Smith has already visited South Carolina saying "I liked the atmosphere, and it was a good experience because they are the first out of state school I visited."
Earlier in the spring Smith also took a visit to Tampa to catch a USF practice with his teammates .
"That was real good. We sat in a couple of meetings and got to talk with some of the players. I liked the way they ran their practices, it was high intensity and a quick tempo, always moving." said Smith. "We told our coaches that we need our practices like that. Everybody was all together, like a brother hood, and that's what you need on a team."
With USF among his top choices, Smith offered what he likes about the Bulls.
"At USF they're like school, school, and school. That's what I like the most, because you're going there for four years to get a degree, not just to play football," said Smith. "I also like their defense, and they always have a good defense, year after year. Another big thing is they're close to home and my parents can come see me play football."
Smith also said that he's developed a relationship with the Bulls coaching staff including new head Coach Skip Holtz and defensive backs coach Rick Smith.
"I also really like coach Holtz, he turned the ECU program around, and he's going to do big things at USF, said Smith. "I been talking with coach Holtz since he got to USF what he needs for the program, and what their building. He's a very good coach, no nonsense and tells it like it is. He's also always about school."
"Coach Smith is great. He's a small guy, but he knows a whole lot about football," said LaQuentin. "He said he likes the way I hit and tackle."
With the spring evaluation period in full swing plenty of schools will be checking out the defensive standout, and LaQuentin knows what he's looking for in making his choice, and a decision may be coming sooner than later
"The main things I'm looking for is location, so my family can come see me play, coaches, not just the head coach, but position coaches because that's basically going to be your father for the next 4-5 years, and also academics."
"Hopefully I'll commit after the spring, it'll either be after the spring or I may commit on my birthday in September.
In the classroom Smith carries a 3.0 GPA and is awaiting the results of the ACT he recently took. Right now Smith doesn't have any visit plans set and is gearing up for the start of spring ball on May 1st.
"I want to be more of a team leader, and make sure our team comes together and make sure our team chemistry is going well with spring ball about to kick off."
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