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Insider

Manatee DB Willie Smith makes the call

Two-star safety Willie Smith (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee) is slated to head across the state and play for the Golden Panthers after committing to the program, multiple sources report.

Western Michigan and North Dakota State also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot, 175-pound prospect.

“I think Willie really felt comfortable at FIU,” Manatee quarterbacks coach and college recruiting liaison Chris Conboy told the Herald-Tribune. “He’s excited to stay in the state of Florida so his family can drive over and see him play.”

ESPN calls Smith, "a ball-hawk in the back end who flashes playmaking ability to be a difference maker in tracking the football and creating opportunities for a sudden change... Has upside but will need to improve his tackling ability to be more of a factor in run support."

Last fall, he registered 44 tackles and a team-high six interceptions for the 13-2 Class 7A State Champions.

Florida International has 12 public commitments for 2013.