New Mexico add surprising four-star DT

February, 3, 2010
2/03/10
1:09
PM ET
Hialeah High (Florida) four-star defensive tackle Calvin Smith made one of the most shocking recruiting announcements of the day by declaring that he’ll play his college football at New Mexico.

Smith was committed to Tennessee before Lane Kiffin left for USC. He also was considering Florida State and Alabama.

“I’ve got a good relationship with the head coach,” Smith told ESPNU. “He’s been recruiting me for two years and I feel like I can play under the top-rated defensive line coach in the country, coach Rubin Carter.”

Smith immediately becomes the best player on a New Mexico team that went 1-11 last year and was embroiled in off-field scandal for much of the year with first-year head coach Mike Locksley.

The Lobos are 5-19 the past two seasons.

Smith said Locksley told him that he could compete for playing time right away and had a chance to become a Freshman All-American for the Lobos.

When asked about the scrutiny he might face about his decision to play for a rebuilding program such New Mexico, Smith said he didn’t care what other people thought.

“I just go where my heart tells me to go,” Smith said. “I’m not listening to what people say. I go where I feel comfortable at.”

Graham Watson | email

College Football
Watson joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four seasons covering the Missouri Tigers and the Big 12 Conference for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also covered college football recruiting for the Dallas Morning News.

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