It was never a matter of if, only when … and when happened today.
Rant Sports has learned that Miami Northwestern High School OLB Mike Smith has committed to join the Miami Hurricanes. He is the 12th commitment for the Al Golden’s class of 2014.
Smith has long been considered a virtual lock for the hometown Canes, but didn’t want to commit too early only to regret it later. In the process, he received scholarship offers from other high-profile schools such as Florida State, Clemson, Tennessee and Louisville.
But in the end, the lure of staying close to home and playing for his favorite childhood team were too much to overlook. He will join a long list of Northwestern High School players who played for the Hurricanes.
The question for Smith was less about where he would play his college ball and more about what position he would play. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, he could line-up at defensive end or perhaps at outside linebacker. In high school, he’s had the most experience with his hand on the ground rushing the passer, but most recruiting experts think he’ll move to linebacker in Coral Gables.
While none of his physical attributes jump off the film at you, he does everything well. You can tell right away that he has good quickness, agility and instincts. He uses his leverage well and plays below the opponent a majority of the time. As a tackler, he is explosive and does a fantastic jump to secure the tackle.
Miami will have a decision to make with Smith, but they’ve overcome the first obstacle: get him on campus.
B.L. is an ACC Football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed @coachlip on Twitter.