Long Beach (Calif.) Poly wide receiver Richard Smith was a little thrown off by the coaching change at Arizona State, especially when his offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and wide receivers coach Steve Broussard left for the offensive staff at UCLA. But the longer he waits, the more he's liking what he's hearing from the new ASU coaching staff.
"From what I've seen from ASU so far, they're running a very similar offense (to what they ran with Mazzone)," Smith said. "It's not like a lot has changed. I've talked to (offensive coordinator Mike Norvell) and he's going to throw the ball a lot."
Still, Smith is not as sure of things as he'd like to be, so he's doing to take a look around at a couple of schools to make sure that ASU is the right fit for him.
"I'm looking at UCLA and Oregon State, and that's about it for now," said Smith, who reports a 2.5 GPA. "I'm going to Oregon State next week (on an official visit), and for UCLA, I'm planning on doing just an unofficial, just walk on to campus type of deal. I'm not sure when though."
Smith lists himself as "80% committed" to ASU, and still says that the Sun Devils are the leader for him, primarily because the new coaches have made him a priority from day one.
"I met with Coach Norvell the first day he was hired," Smith said. "He came out here. And I met with the receivers coach, Coach Anderson. They all came to my house the second week. And we've just been chatting a lot since then.
"It feels really good, and it's even better because I have some friends who are at ASU, and they tell me that on their recruiting board, I'm one of the highest ranked ones there, so that's really good to hear."
If UCLA has an angle on him, it's that Broussard was his primary recruiter when he was at ASU, and now is the primary coach working on him at UCLA, but Smith is reluctant to say that Broussard's move is going to have a big effect on him.
"Coach Broussard was recruiting me at ASU, and I really like him, but I can't let a coaching change determine where I'm going to go," Smith said. "It's just I'm not 100% until I know exactly what I want, which I know is not going to happen with any school. But as of now, ASU has the highest percentage of all schools."
With the visit to Oregon State next weekend, and a possible unofficial trip to UCLA somewhere in the offing, Smith expects that a true finalization of his commitment could take all the way until signing day.
Smith Taking a Look Around
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