"This was my first visit, and the entire setting was new to me," Smith said after making his trip to the Mountaineer campus. "The hills and everything were really different, and it was pretty cool. It was a great visit. There were guys from Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, from everywhere. "
Smith is being recruited by offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, who handles WVU's efforts in Illinois. He likes the way in which the assistant has dealt with him during the recruiting process.
"He told me they had a need for a guy with my abilities. He keeps it 100% with me. He's good to talk with."
Those abilities include a combination of size, speed and strength that earned him all-conference selection as a junior. He has the ability to get to the corner on outside runs, but also shows power when taking on defenders. He has 15 scholarship offers, and has at various times shown high interest in several of them, including Iowa and Illinois, but now has settled on a different top four – with perhaps one more addition.
"I've visited Purdue, Boston College, Cincinnati and now West Virginia, and those are pretty much my top four. They are all even at this point. I am trying to squeeze in a visit to one other school in the near future, but I'm not sure which one it will be. I was trying to make my decision on Dec. 19, which is my birthday, but I might not make it by then."
While Smith doesn't have a timetable nailed down yet, he does have the factors in place which will guide his decision.
"I want a place that feels like home away from home," he observed. "It's not all about football. I want a good place where there's a good social life, and a good school. I'm going to talk with my mom and my head coach a lot, and they will be the main ones in helping me make my decision."