December 14, 2007

Spartans set to host Texas DE/LB

Michigan State has made the recruitment of Texas a priority this year and it could very well pay-off come signing day. One of the players they would like to see on the class of 2008 commitment list is Jacquies Smith of Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, Texas. SpartanMag.com caught up with Smith earlier this week.

Smith is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect that could project at multiple positions on defense at the next level. We asked Smith if the Michigan State staff has talked about what position he would play if he ends up playing for the Green and White in the Big Ten.

"Yes, it all depends on how big I get. If I get a lot bigger I will be at defense end. If I don't than I will stay at linebacker. They also said I could play some of both," Smith said.

Rivals.com rates Smith a 3-star recruit and the #28 defensive end prospects in the nation the class of 2008. He is also rated the #61 player in Texas this year. The biggest reason why BCS teams like Michigan State, Missouri, Purdue and Colorado have offered Smith is due his speed off the edge. Smith has consistently clocked 40-yard dash times in the 4.5 range.

Smith's primary recruiter for Michigan State is linebacker Coach Mike Tressel. Earlier this week Smith was able to host Coach Tressel and Defensive Line Coach Ted Gill in his home for a visit.

"The visit was cool," he said "They told me and my grandmother how much they are looking forward to having me visit and that they really like me a lot. We all got along real well."

In addition to Coach Tressel and Coach Gill, Smith indicated that he has spoke with Head Coach Mark Dantonio several times and is looking forward to speaking with him in person this weekend.

Smith's visit to Michigan State will not start on Friday. Due to having a basketball game that night, he will be flying to East Lansing on Saturday morning.

Michigan State has really turned up the heat on the recruitment of Smith the last few weeks and he informed us that as of right now the Spartans are the team that is recruiting him the hardest. His official visit to Michigan State will be his first one so far.

We asked Smith if distance would be a factor in his recruitment.

"Not at all," he said. "I am going to go to the school that I feel most comfortable and where I think I can help the team win. It doesn't matter to me where that school is, as long as I feel it is the place for me."

A recent update on Smith indicated that his recruitment could be a two horse race with Missouri having a slight lead at this point over the Spartans. Smith informed SpartanMag.com that that is the reason he is looking forward to his visit to Michigan State University.

"I want to see what the campus is like and meet some of the players and spend time with the coaches, Smith said. "That will help me make my choice."

Michigan State has 9 scholarship spots left for the class of 2008. Based on our calculations they are looking to add at least 2 more defensive end types and 2 more linebackers. A player like Smith would certainly be a valuable addition due to the fact that he could project at both positions.

SpartanMag.com will be speaking with Smith on Sunday evening to see how his visit went and find out where Michigan State stands.


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