InsideTennessee.com is proud to introduce a new premium members only feature introducing our members to the University of Tennessee commitments for the Class of 2010.
In this feature we will take a closer look at each one of UT's commitments, giving you our thoughts and the thoughts of other experts.
We will look at their strengths, weaknesses and who else is recruiting them. We will also give you our thoughts on the Vols chances of signing each of their pledges in February.
Sit back and enjoy this new feature, please join us in the Rocky Top Premium Message Board Forum to give us your thoughts on our assessments.
We begin this new feature with Jacques Smith.
Smith a defensive end from Ooltewah High School committed to the Volunteers back with the old coaching staff.
New head coach Lane Kiffin and new defensive line coach Ed Orgeron made it a priority to build a good relationship with who most considers the state of Tennessee's top prospect.
Smith is listed at 6-foot-2, 235-pound and runs the forty in 4.6 seconds.
He is rated as the No. 6 defensive end in the nation by Scout.com and is a five star prospect.
A big, fast athlete, Smith has the size and strength to play defensive end, or the quickness to play linebacker. He's a disrupter on defense that moves piles when he arrives.
Strengths: His upper body strength is incredible. He has the versatility to play on the defensive line as a rush end or the ability to cover in space as a linebacker. (Don't expect Coach Orgeron let him get away from his defensive line unit.) Smith has great football savvy and a nose for the football (that's something you can't teach) meaning he has great defensive instincts.
Potential: The sky is the limit for this young man. Under the tutorage of Orgeron and Monte Kiffin, look for the standout athlete to excel at the college level.
Weaknesses: Not a lot of things to cover here. He will learn more things at the college level technique wise to improve his game.
Chances of actually playing at the University of Tennessee: 95 percent
How we feel about Smith:
James Bryant's thoughts: The biggest commitment so far for the Volunteers, no doubt about it. He is the best player in the state of Tennessee hands down, it's not even close. Very athletic and a very skilled defender. I think he will get even bigger at the next level. He definitely has NFL potential, could end up being a first round draft pick if he develops the way he is expected to. (Hard to predict this at this stage of his career) Moves side line to sideline. Is a ball hawk type of defender. Has great feet, back peddles well allowing him to cover in space. Great explosiveness.
James Newman's thoughts: A guy I have heard Smith compared to a lot is former Tennessee great Leonard Little. Its not that far off, but I don't think that Smith runs as well as Little did; he doesn't have quite the same amount of explosiveness. Smith has been discussed as a LB, but I see him more as a possible OLB in a 3-4 defense than a guy that can go sideline to sideline in a 4-3. I see Smith as a DE all the way in a 4-3 Defense. A guy I actually see a little bit of in Smith is former Ole Miss DE Derrick Burgess who plays for the Oakland Raiders. Smith is quick, but also very powerful for a guy his size. He has a nice array of pass-rushing moves that should continue to develop, and when he does get to the QB, he gets his money's worth. Jacques is also a high motor player, and a high-character kid. He plays with a mean streak, and wears his emotions on his sleeve while on the field. I see Smith as a guy who can be more than just a good pass rusher in college. As he continues to grow and fill out, look for Smith to become a complete DE who can play the run as well as get to the Quarterback.
Chad Simmons' thoughts: Smith is clearly the top player in the state of Tennessee and his heart is set on being a Volunteer. As a player, he could end up as a big linebacker or as a rush end off the edge. He is a very strong player when getting after the quarterback, but he has shown the ability to play sideline to sideline on the second level of defense as well. I look at him more as an end first that can drop back into some zone coverage, but will be attacking the ball from the backside most of the time. He has very good punch, he is very explosive, and he will be a nightmare for defensive ends in the coming years. Smith's best ball is ahead of him when he settles at one position and learns the proper technique to excel there.