John Smith may have an ordinary name but there is nothing ordinary about the way he plays the game. He’s an explosive prospect on both sides of the ball and could end up one of the nation’s most coveted prospects in the class of 2014.
Smith has a great frame and looks all of 6-1, 185 pounds. He started the year playing receiver and then added safety duties half way through the season.
“That’s when our defense really took off,” Poly coach Doc Moye said. “Everyone knows we got embarrassed by Narbonne but we didn’t have three of our key defensive starters in that game. Once we moved John to safety, it changed everything. He’s an incredible player on both sides of the ball and will be one of the best players we’ve had here and that’s saying something.”
Smith has all the physical tools you could want in a next level prospect. He runs very well for his size, with power and does a nice job shielding smaller DBs with his body. He has great body control and hands with the ability to stretch the field or be a reliable possession type receiver.
As good as he is at receiver, his upside is probably highest at safety. Smith plays down hill and is a physical hitter but has the speed and range to cover a lot of ground all over the secondary. He has great ball skills and natural instincts for the position. He’s definitely an elite prospect.
On the recruiting front, Smith picked up early offers from San Jose State and Fresno State and landed his first Pac 12 offer on Monday.
“UCLA offered and I was really excited to get that one,” Smith said. “I’m really feeling UCLA right now, that’s my top school and I like them a lot. Coach Meat (Demetrice Martin) talked to my DB coach and then I gave him a call.
“We talked about the recruiting process, how it works and then he told me they were offering a scholarship. He’s a good guy and I’m looking forward to going through the process and getting to know him better. It’s still early for me and I’m open to everyone. I like USC and Washington too but like I said, I want to go through the process and I don’t plan to commit anywhere early.”