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Sunday, January 26, 2014
ESPN Junior 300 LB talks Florida visit

By Gerry Hamilton

One of the fastest-rising juniors in the Southeast is ESPN Junior 300 outside linebacker Roquan Smith (Montezuma, Ga./Macon County).

The 6-foot-2, 204-pound 2015 Under Armour All-America Game selection has brought coaches from several big-time programs in the region to small town Montezuma in the last couple weeks, including Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze.

On Saturday, the nation's No. 39-ranked prospect in the 2015 class made the three-hour drive southeast to Gainesville, Fla., to take a look at the University of Florida.

“Man, [Florida] was a great place,” Smith said. “I spent the whole day with the defensive coordinator [D.J. Durkin], spent time with Coach [Will] Muschamp and went to the basketball game.”

The athletic playmaker walked away quite impressed with Muschamp.

“A real cool guy. A defensive head coach for sure," Smith said. "He was telling me how bad he wants me at Florida. He said he doesn’t make promises to anyone, but told me I would have a great opportunity to come in and make a difference.”

The unofficial visit to Florida followed a trip to Georgia last Saturday, with trips to Auburn and Tennessee on his schedule.

“I know I’m going to Auburn February 1st," Smith said. "I’ve been there before, but have never really toured the campus. It’s a great school and some of the commitments are trying to recruit me. I’m also going to Tennessee and South Carolina. Tennessee is March 1st, I think, and I can’t remember the South Carolina date. I know I want to visit UCLA and Ole Miss, too.”

Another possible visit will be to Alabama after picking up an offer from defensive coordinator Kirby Smart last week.

“Alabama was a great offer. Not many get that one," Smith said. "Coach Smart told me people will be telling me I’m not a fit at Alabama, but he said they have to adapt to all the spread offenses they are facing now, and I’m a really good fit.”

While Smith isn’t ready to name favorites or even a top five, he does have nine programs that are standing out heading into the spring.

“I’m still at about nine schools that I really like right now: Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, Georgia, UCLA, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Alabama and Clemson,” he said.

Smith is the No. 6-ranked junior in the state of Georgia and the No. 3 outside linebacker nationally in the 2015 class.