Lakeland (Fla.) High linebacker Ja'Qurius Smith committed to Syracuse on Tuesday, he told Scout. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker had long been coveted by the Orange and reciprocated that interest with his verbal pledge.
Smith chose Syracuse over offers from Bowling Green, Charlotte, East Carolina, Purdue, South Florida, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky. He projects as a three-star prospect.
The physical tools and versatility of Smith are what attracted Syracuse to him. He is big, strong and athletic. He can play all three linebacker positions within Syracuse's defensive system.
His lead recruiter was defensive coordinator Brian Ward.
Smith is Syracuse's fifth commitment in the 2018 class and first linebacker.