Patrick Smith: Secret to Some, Not to All

It's not at all uncommon for high school player to change positions upon landing on a college campus. That's what happened to Solano College linebacker Patrick Smith (6-1, 227) -- and the move has paid off. Big Time.

He didn't hear a lot from schools as a senior at De La Salle High School in 2004, but a position switch from defensive end to outside linebacker has made all the difference.

"A lot of people knew I couldn't play defensive end in college because I was just too small," Smith told  "I got a partial scholarship offer from a small college back east, but that isn't where I wanted to go so I came to Solano and I'm really happy I did."

The Solano coaches switched him to middle linebacker – although he played some outside linebacker too – and as a freshman, Smith, who runs a legit 4.6 forty, put up some amazing numbers.

"I had 125 tackles, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception," Smith said.  "I feel like my football instincts and my quickness are my biggest assets.  I can read plays pretty well and get there before the ball-carrier does. 

"I like to blitz, because I'm used to rushing the quarterback, but I can drop back and cover guys to.  I think I can do it all pretty well."

On the recruiting front, Smith is hearing from several schools, but two have stuck out in his mind.

"Auburn and Florida are recruiting me the hardest right now," Smith said.  "They send me a ton of stuff.  Oregon State, Utah and Texas A&M are also sending me a lot of stuff. 

"I'm open to everyone who wants to recruit me, but I don't have to stay on the west coast.  I'll go wherever I have a good chance to play and where I feel comfortable.

"The deciding factor for me, wherever I go, will be the coaching staff and how they treat their players.  I am looking for a coaching staff that respects their players, but also they have to be willing to be hard on us to make us into the type of players we need and want to be.  I want to succeed and I want a coach who can help me get there."

Smith would like to major in Sports Medicine "or at least something sports related" at the next school he goes to and he will graduate in December with three years to play two.


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