November 2, 2010

CSU still in the mix with Smith

The Colorado State football team is hoping ties to home and a pipeline direct from Orlando, Fla. can convince 6-foot-2, 205-pound Dr. Phillips High School linebacker/safety LaQuentin Smithto give the Mountain West Conference a shot.

Smith's list of offers is a whose-who of college football powerhouses, including Michigan, Arkansas, South Carolina, West Virginia, Illinois and Purdue. Sitting in that group of offers is Colorado State, who Smith said was the first to come through with an offer.

"Colorado State was my first offer," Smith said. It was the first school to say that I could play Division I football in college and believe in me. That really sticks in my head. That and they have all my former teammates there. They tell me it is a lovely place and they really enjoy what is going on there. They are always trying to persuade me to come be one of their teammates again."

The Colorado State pipeline to Dr. Phillips High School has seen quarterback Nico Rainieri, Marvin Ford, Charles Favors and Marquis Hood all commit to play football in Fort Collins. Due to academic issues, Hood and Ford are in junior college this season, though at least Hood expects to get back to Fort Collins soon. In all, the Rams have eight players who hail from Orlando and the surrounding area. Smith's Dr. Phillips teammate, Darius Johnson has also been to Colorado State and committed to the Rams this summer.

Smith is ranked the 74th best athlete in the nation, according to and is a three-star prospect. He runs a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash to go along with a 405-pound squat. Last year, Smith filled up the stat sheet last year, posting 97 tackles, six tackles for a loss, seven pass break-ups, four forced fumbled and even caught three passes on offense.

This season Dr. Phillips High School is 8-0 going into this weekend and top-ranked in Florida's Class 6-A. Smith said he is trying to ride that momentum to a state title, after which he'll worry about his recruitment.

"I am trying to focus on getting a state ring and then finding out what options are out there," Smith said. "I want to keep everyone open because you never know where you might be landing."

The future Communications major said he is being told by some schools they want him to play linebacker and others that they believe safety is the place for him. Smith said he doesn't have a preference.

Already he has visited Arkansas and had a great time, calling it a, "nice, nice place, a great town and a nice atmosphere."

He is also planning to visit West Virginia, South Carolina and Colorado State.

"I want to really focus on the season and see how this goes out," Smith said.

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