Friday, March 16, 2012 Updated: March 23, 11:02 AM ET
Jason Smith is Mr. Versatility
By Jamie Newberg ESPN RecruitingNation
Jason Smith is not a big name, yet, but that will soon change.
The dynamic athlete from Mobile, Ala., is a special talent with serious upside at three different positions.
Just ask McGill Toolen head coach Bart Sessions.
Choosing a position may be a tougher decision for Jason Smith than choosing a college.
"He's unreal at wide receiver," Sessions said. "Jason could also be an NFL corner. And he's our quarterback and he can play that position in college. There's no question about it."
The million-dollar question is not where Smith will attend college and play football; it's what position he will ultimately play.
"Jason is so explosive and elusive," Sessions said. "What goes unnoticed is how good of a thrower he really is. And he can manage the game and he protects the football. He has 4.3 speed and you would be shocked at how strong he is in the weight room. Jason is a great leader and kids gravitate towards him. He really has all those intangibles for that position and I think he can be a great spread quarterback for someone."
Smith, 6-foot-1 and 173 pounds, wants to continue to be a signal-caller in college. At the same time, he will think big picture and ultimately choose what position he has the brightest future at.
"I know I have the ability to play quarterback," Smith said. "I can play multiple positions. I am interchangeable. I can play wide receiver or cornerback. If that what it's going to take, then I will make the switch. I will do it.
"I want to make it to college and go pro so I can take care of my parents and family. I will do what it takes."
Quarterback is Option 1. If that doesn't work, then there's no question he could be a playmaking receiver or a shutdown corner.
"He's so difficult to cover [at receiver] and has solid hands. What he has is ball skills," Sessions said. "And he can stick his toe in the ground and change directions. He has great hips. Jason does things normal human beings can't do."
Smith's teammate LB Andrew Allen knows firsthand what Smith can do after facing him every day in practice.
"We have always had great receivers here and sometimes you forget about the quarterback," Allen said. "You can forget that Jason can really run. You have to keep an eye on him or he will kill you. That guy has made me look stupid so many times in practice. He's so fast and can stop on a dime. But you also have to understand that he can throw the football and he can throw it on the run. He will find the open guy."
Of course, Allen would like to see him line up on the defensive side of the ball on a much more regular basis.
"He never stops amazing me on Friday nights. I am sure wherever he goes and whatever position he plays he will do the same. If he were to play regularly on defense, he would be just as big of a weapon. Jason can lock down anyone, he can tackle and blitz. That guy is just a weapon at whatever he does on the field."
Sessions used Smith only once in their return game. And on that lone occasion, he returned a kickoff for a score in their biggest regular-season game last year, against Daphne. Sessions and his staff just pick and choose where Smith can lend a helping hand to the team.
"That's why this kid is so special," Sessions said. "He can do so much besides play quarterback."
Auburn has offered him a scholarship and says they will give him a shot at quarterback. Alabama has offered Smith and is leaning toward playing him on the defensive side of the ball. He also has scholarship offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas State, Troy and Louisiana Tech. They all like Smith as a signal-caller.
"Most schools are sticking their toe in there as a quarterback," Sessions said. "I think at the end of the day more will lean to the athlete side of it. In the end, I think Jason will make a decision based on what school is best for him and his family."
Smith has seen only Alabama and Auburn. He's been to junior days at both schools and walked away impressed. At this point, he just wants to see what happens with other teams and offers and check out anyone and everyone who's interested.
"Both Auburn and Alabama were great," Smith said. "They are so nice and I got along with all the coaches very well. I was looking at the depth charts and both offenses. Both Alabama and Auburn are beautiful schools.
"Really, I am open. I am not married to one of the schools here. I want to see anyone that shows interest in me and that offers me."