Smith Sets His Last Official

Long Beach (Calif.) Poly safety Juju Smith will visit both Los Angeles-area schools, but only one of the schools will get an official...

Juju Smith took his fourth official visit of the year this past weekend to Alabama and unfortunately, a flight delay coming home almost cost the Jackrabbits big time.

"My flight was delayed coming back home Monday and I missed practice," Smith said. "We have a team policy that if you miss practice you have to sit out the 1st quarter. It took a while to get going once I got in but we pulled out the W."

Smith checked in and on just his second play from scrimmage, jumped over two Lancer players for an acrobatic 22 yard touchdown. He was solid in the secondary and then down seven late in the game, caught a 52 yard touchdown bomb.

Smiths size, toughness, speed, hitting ability and instincts are all off the charts and when you combine his competitiveness and work ethic off the field, it's tough to see any scenario outside of injury, where he won't be a major impact player early in his college career.

As for that visit to ‘Bama, Smith was still buzzing about it.

"Man, I can't stop thinking about the game and the atmosphere there," Smith said. "I've never experienced anything like that in my life. The passion the fans have and the energy of the crowd is just incredible. When the team came out on to the field, I couldn't even hear myself think.

"The athletes Alabama has are incredible too, I've never seen players like that. The big tight end, O.J. Howard, he's a freak and when you watch Alabama play, they don't make any mistakes. They're so well coached, they don't give up any big plays and on offense, they just keep pumping out running back after running back and they're all good."

Smith said he enjoyed talking with the coaches and seeing a different side of Nick Saban.

"I know he has the reputation of being all business and he definitely is on the football field," Smith said. "We talked off the field though and he was real easy to talk with and I enjoyed being around him. I talked with Kirby Smart a lot as well, the DC, and he's real cool and obviously a great coach.

"Oregon was probably my best trip before this one but I would be Alabama right up there. All my trips were great and stand out for me but those two probably stand out a little more for different reasons. I don't have a leader right now though, I'm not basing my decision on just what trip was the best, it's a process for me and I still have more trips to take before I decide."

Smith was originally planning to commit at the Under Armour All-American game but will now push his decision date back.

"I'm taking an unofficial visit to UCLA and my last official visit will be to USC (Jan 18)," Smith said. "I like both schools but decided to take the visit to USC just because growing up, that was always my dream school so I had to give them my last visit.

"I'm watching them closely right now and I'm excited they're turning things around. Coach Orgeron is doing a good job and hopefully they bring in someone just like him, that will coach with that same energy. If he stays on the staff, that would be good too because the players really like him a lot. After that last visit, I'll sit back with my family and decide on what's best for me. It's going to be a business decision, I've said that from day one, it won't be emotional, it's going to be wherever I think I'll fit in best and have the most long term success."

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