Another day, another commitment. Central Lafourche (Raceland, LA) cornerback Brandon Smith committed to Texas Tech yesterday and from all accounts, Smith looks to be an excellent player. Let's get to the vitals first (and remember, the low star rating by Scout and Rivals means that the player hasn't been evaluated):
Things I like is Smith's speed and he has good height for a cornerback. Good things.
RP.com's Mark Sparrow (free story) interviewed Smith's high school coach, Chad Callais about Smith:
"I think the Tech coaches liked his height and speed. He’s between 6’0" and 6’1", and he’s very agile and athletic. He’s a lock down corner who excels at man-to-man coverage and can handle his own out on the edge. It’s a really great benefit to know that he’s going to be able to stick with his receiver and not let him get away."
In addition to his prowess on the football field, Smith is a standout basketball player and track star for the Trojans. And while his athleticism and speed have allowed him to excel at all three sports, Coach Callais believes that once he begins to focus solely on football, he will be even more dangerous on the field.
"Brandon is a multi-sport athlete, and so he hasn’t really had the opportunity to hit the weight room hard. He’s got a great frame to build upon, and he’s not done growing yet, so he will really blossom when he gets in the weight room."
Smith's ESPN profile had the following evaluation of him:
Smith has coveted size, athleticism and makeup speed at the cornerback position. He looks a bit shorter than his listed measurables but plays tall high-pointing and attacking the football in deep coverage. Needs to continue filling out his leaner body but has a good perimeter frame needed to matchup versus today's bigger college wide outs. Pedal, footwork and overall man-to-man technique need some refinement but he shows good burst out of his cuts and recovery quicks limiting separation. Rides the hiprunning vertically and keeps proper positioning and inside leverage. Tracks the deep throw well and adjusts his body properly to make plays on the ball. Excels at breaking on the football in front of him and supporting the underneath run and pass; very active perimeter defender. Loses a bit in transition (footwork needs polish) but closes the cushion fast with good burst out of his pedal jumping routes. We like his plant and drive skill. Soundly anticipates the pass and naturally sees the play develop. While he can catch the tackle of bigger backs and struggle to get off the stalk block at times, he is a reliable openfield tackler who comes up quickly and chops ball carriers down low. On top of improved size and strength to play the run and press at the next level he needs to be play with more hip sink and knee bend to flip his hips and transition smoother. Bottom line, Smith could eventually develop into a well-rounded corner with his good combination of size, speed and closing burst; just needs some positional polish and work in a fulltime college weight training program. His skills as a returner and as a potential cover guy on special teams add to his upside. Good under the radar corner.
And for those of you who need to see it to believe it, here's a YouTube highlight of Smith in action:
Brandon, welcome to Texas Tech, and git your guns up!