Michigan Makes a Pitch for Smith

Jan. 19 -- Michigan has come into play for Roquan Smith, who'll also take an official visit to UCLA later this month...

The Ole Miss visit was canceled by Roquan Smith the day D.J. Durkin was hired by Jim Harbaugh at Michigan to run the Wolverines' defense.

Out Rebels. In Wolverines.

Durkin and Smith talked it up a lot this weekend during the official visit and the two have a very strong bond, but it was the new head coach who impressed the Scout 100 linebacker in Ann Arbor the last two days.

"Coach Harbaugh is a great guy," said Smith. "He is focused off the field just as he on the field. I like how he knows how to develop players and he would be a great guy to play for.

"Playing for him would be tough to pass up on with his past success and all of his NFL connections."

Michigan is battling Georgia, UCLA, and a couple others from the star linebacker out of Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County. He has already visited Georgia officially and he has UCLA January 30 weekend with Arizona State next weekend.

This was Smith's first trip up north and Michigan made a strong initial impression.

"It was a great experience up there this weekend. It was great to see what is out there other than what I have seen in the south.

"I enjoyed the visit and it was more than just about football up there. The education there is second to none and the environment is great.

"The alumni is all over too and I like that. Michigan is a place I could grow up as a man and as a player on the field. I enjoyed the entire visit."

There is no change in Smith's timeline for his decision, it is still set for signing day. Georgia, an in-state school has been considered the school to beat because of his familiarity there, his connection with the coaches, and the location.

Smith has not come out and named a leader and it would be a surprise if he named any type of order before announcing his decision. When asked if this visit helped Michigan, he said, "Indeed."

It looked to be about Durkin, the new Michigan defensive coordinator when Smith first gave the Wolverines a look, but there is more to it now. "Coach Durkin helps [Michigan] a lot, but Harbaugh is a great guy too. I see a lot more in Michigan now."

Smith is the No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 62 overall prospect on Scout.

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