Smith searching for right fit

D.J. Smith

D.J. Smith is searching for the right fit. He has cut his list down to four schools, he is taking visits on a regular basis, and he is taking his time with the process...

Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee are the four that "stand out" to D.J. Smith and it is "very likely" that he ends up at one of those schools come signing day.

Smith has kept Walton (Ga.) High School first this fall, but recruiting has been on his mind some too.

He has taken unofficial visits to three out of his top four schools and he will visit the fourth this weekend.

"I am going up to South Carolina for the Florida game this weekend and this will be my first time there this season," Smith said.

"South Carolina has always recruited me hard, I really like their defense, and I want to get up there to see what it's like for a game."

A school that upset South Carolina a few weeks ago had the four-star defensive back on their campus last weekend.

He did not like the outcome of the game, but the visit went very well.

"Tennessee has new coaches and I like those guys. I got to talk with coach (Willie) Martinez (defensive backs) and I am what he is looking for. He wants playmakers and he said I am that.

"I also talked to former Lassiter wide receiver Ryan Jenkins and he really likes it up there. Tennessee commitment Cortez McDowell is another guy from Georgia who is excited about UT.

"I had a really good time on the visit, the game just didn't go well for Tennessee. Auburn beat them pretty good, but I know the team will get better."


The Marietta, Ga., native has taken in two games at both Clemson and Georgia this season and he had good things to say about each school.

"Clemson has a great atmosphere and I love how the fans are all in there," Smith said. "It is just different up there than normal places and I like that. I stay in contact with (defensive coordinator and) coach (Brent) Venables and I know I will be taking an official visit there in January.

"Georgia is the in-state school and Mark Richt has been really recruiting me hard for a while now. I talk to coach Richt and (defensive backs) coach (Scott) Lakatos and both tell me I could play safety or corner there. If you are in Georgia, who wouldn't want to play for Georgia? It is a great school with great coaches."

Smith's four finalists are in no particular order right now. Many feel that follow recruiting that Clemson has the edge with less than three months to go before signing day.

Smith likes Clemson a lot, but he cannot give any school the lead right now.

"I am still looking to see what school is best for me," the top-rated safety in the Peach State said. "I just don't know right now. I will be surprised when I feel like I know which school is right for me because I have been looking for a while.

"All four schools are very good, I like them all the same, and I am just not there yet. Not one school has pulled away or moved to the top.

"I am hoping it will once I take the official visits after the season."

Smith, a 6-foot, 195-pound senior, is the No. 15 safety in the country on Scout.

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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