Coupled with the fact that market wasn't really high on someone of his size for that position, Smith realized that any opportunity to play major college football would come at linebacker.
So Smith went to Solano (Calif.) College to get some experience at the position and following a successful two-year career there, he's looking to get his first taste of recruiting.
"I had a partial offer from Assumption College in Massachusetts, but that was all I had received," said Smith. "I decided to go to Solano and I've gotten bigger there and got some good experience.
Smith was weighing 200 out of high school, small for linebacker, let alone a defensive end. Now at 6-1, 230, Smith is the size he wants to be as he prepares for college.
"I'm running a 4.61 forty right now," said Smith. "I played inside and outside and had about 115 tackles this year."
And schools are taking notice.
"Just now a lot of schools have been starting to reach me a lot," said Smith. "(Wednesday) was probably the best news I've heard, from Syracuse. "They contacted me at the school and the coach watched some film and they're really interested in me. They said they would send back the film to the head coach and try to set something up. This is great news because it is the biggest school so far.
On Friday, Syracuse contacted the Solano coaching staff and let them know they wanted Smith to take an official trip out to New York. The Orangemen are evaluating a couple of other JC linebackers as well.
Smith has also sent some film off to Wisconsin and UCLA, hoping to hear back from them.
"I've been contacted by a few smaller schools," said Smith. "I've had some interest from Coastal Carolina, Texas State and Central Missouri. But if Syracuse decided to offer, I'm almost sure I will go there."
Because he was a full qualifier out of high school, Smith can sign beginning the 20th of December and can leave for January enrollment.