SAN ANTONIO - I finally discovered the answer to the time-honored question, ”What do you get when you genetically splice Secretariat with Mike Singletary?”
No other player gets the SMH from his contemporaries like Smith. I was in an elevator with Su’a Cravens and after asking him if he was Tahaan Goodman (lol), I told him about my recent write-up where I stated how impressed I was with both he and Smith’s natural football ability on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He gave me a look that said, “I’m not in Smith’s class.” Never mind that Cravens is in Smith’s class, but it goes to show you the level of respect Smith’s peers have for him.
Cravens went on to say, “Have you seen Smith? He’s rocked up. That guy is big.”
He is. In fact, he’s not nearly as lean as I anticipated which removes my lone concern about him; acclimating to the size/strength of college players.
Another player that was effusive in his praise of Smith was Alief Taylor (Texas) defensive end, Torrodney Prevot. When I broached the possibility of playing with Smith, Prevot (pictured) also mentioned how easily Smith is packing on the muscle. Like Cravens, Prevot gave me a look that said, “It’s an honor to be in the same conversation with Smith.”
While I had Prevot’s ear I queried him about his Notre Dame interest.
“They’ve been on me hard for about a month now,” he said. “I’ve been talking to Coach (Kerry) Cooks and I’ll be visiting Notre Dame on January 25th. They’re recruiting me as a linebacker.”
I went on to ask him about the National Championship game and he said he’s really excited to see how the Domers do against the SEC powerhouse. He also relayed that the Notre Dame coaching staff sounds very confident going into the game.
Prevot may also visit Texas A&M, but I can’t see him in College Station. Prevot’s a different kind of kid, one that would rather read than listen to music. He’s inquisitive with a certain level of intelligence that’s hard to describe. I’m not saying he’s Myron Rolle out there, but there’s a lot of snap to him. I just don’t see him in Aggieland and going for that doctorate in taxidermy.
Neither does his coach, Jody Jordan. I’m writing this from a Hooters (don’t judge, I need Wi-Fi), pretty much the most overrated place in America outside of California, and lo and behold Prevot’s coach is sitting next to me, so I did the natural thing. I bought his drinks and tried to steer Prevot to Notre Dame in order to bring an SMU sized heap of NCAA sanctions against you.
Not really though.
Coach Jordan seems to think Notre Dame is the team to beat. Not only did he say he can’t see Prevot signing with A&M, he also stated he doesn’t think he’ll go to USC.
Just like I can’t see Prevot in College Station, I don’t think he’s too keen on attending college in South Central Los Angeles. I’m sure playing for the Trojans appealed to the literary romanticist within him, but if any school can match Southern Cal in prestige, it’s Notre Dame.
I’ve been to South Bend (this year’s Michigan game), and while there’s not a lot there, I can really see Prevot immersing himself in life there.
My new buddy Dave Beaudin is going to cover the Eddie Vanderdoes interview for you guys, but it really sounds like he’s interested. When interviewing a player, I pay as much attention to how they say something as I do to what they say. You guys are definitely on his radar and he’s done a great job of doing his homework on the benefits of a Notre Dame degree and not just a letter jacket.
I wanted to talk to Michael Hutchings, but dropped the ball as I somehow missed him. I’ll be trying to gather intel on him in the next two days.
I talked to Corey Robinson briefly and he’s really enjoying having some of his future teammates in his hometown. He said it was funny that he and Steve Elmer are rooming together and will do so again in a couple weeks (I didn’t realize they were both early enrollees). He also said that Torii Hunter Jr.’s surgery went well and that he’s resting comfortably with his family. As the son of The Admiral, I wasn’t surprised one bit to find out that Robinson has already visited Hunter and will do so again.
I need you to stick with me here and put down the Irish coffee. My buddy, David Robinson, is one of the best personal wide receiver coaches you’ll find. He’s obviously not THAT David Robinson, but we did talk about Corey quite a bit. D-Rob, as we call him to keep from confusing the 5-foot-6 former Sooner receiver with the 7-foot NBA Hall of Famer, is a big fan of Robinson and was familiar with him previously. He relayed this to me:
“He’ll be fine on the next level even though he’s been playing poor competition,” the wideout coach said. “There’s a lot of zone in college routes so lack of precision doesn’t really hurt you until you get to the NFL where they run tons of man. Justin Blackmon is a great example of that. Robinson’s not just a tall guy, he’s actually pretty quick so even when he doesn’t get free access, he’ll be able to beat jams. I wasn’t sold on him from watching his tape, but seeing him in person I think he’ll be fine.”
I’ll leave you with some news I picked up today that has nothing to do with the Army All-American game. I was talking to DeCarlos Holmes, one of the coaches at St. Augustine (Louisiana). Holmes of course coaches 2014 running back Leonard Fournette. If you’re unfamiliar with Fournette, remove the Singletary from the Secretariat gene pool and add Hershel Walker. He’s the top back in the nation in what appears to be a loaded class.
I was talking to Holmes for Texas reasons, but he told me that Notre Dame has been recruiting Fournette very hard of late. Here, I’ll let him tell it:
“You know we’re a Catholic school and I think that kind of appeals to Leonard,” said Holmes. “That and of course they’re back on top. He’s aware of who Notre Dame is with the history of the school.”
It’s the knee jerk reaction in my fair state to discount the chances of landing any kid from Da Boot because of LSU’s kung fu grip on in-state prospects, but that’s not necessarily the case here.
In Holmes, Fournette has a coach that will shoot him straight and doesn’t just blindly default his top players to LSU. In fact, he’s been sort of black-balled in Louisiana for “allowing” Torshiro Davis to leave his home state for Texas.
Along with LSU and Alabama, the Longhorns will figure into the Fournette equation. Bama of course already has Bo Scarborough (Keep the Secretariat, remove the Walker, add Adrian Peterson) in the fold for 2014 so I’m inclined to discount them for Fournette’s services.
Eric Nahlin is a writer for InsideTexas, who is providing ISD with coverage this week from San Antonio.