One weekend of official visits is down, and two more are coming right up as the Syracuse University football staff is set to host, among others, Florida Atlantic commit Rashad Smith. The 6-foot-2 Smith is a 3-star talent who could play either safety or outside linebacker, and could be on flip watch as he takes his official to Syracuse.
Checking in at 6-foot-2 and around 190 pounds, Smith is a physical presence in the defensive secondary and has the frame to grow into a speedy, hard-hitting outside linebacker with good coverage skills. In addition to being committed to FAU, he also holds offers from Bowling Green, Temple, and does in fact have an offer from Syracuse.
Last season, Smith had 102 tackles and eight sacks and forced three fumbles. He shows terrific speed getting into the backfield and in pursuit of the ball carrier, and it’s easy to see why some people envision him becoming an OLB at the next level. With his frame and natural athleticism, he has the potential to be a very productive tackler in college. Once he gets his hands on a ball carrier, he does a very nice job of finishing the play and making sure the runner gets put down hard.
Right now, Syracuse only has one outside linebacker committed in this year’s class in Taylor Riggins, though that is almost certain to change, both as far as Riggins is concerned and with the linebacker position in general. Riggins seems likely to decommit and explore other options at this point, while former Bowling Green commit Andrew Armstrong seems to be leaning hard toward joining the Orange.
If Smith does in fact stick at safety, on the other hand, Syracuse has two locked up right now in Scoop Bradshaw and Devon Clarke. Bradshaw, as I’ve mentioned before, has the tools to transition to cornerback so for now I’ll put him as a “utility” defensive back, while Clarke is another punishing hitter with good size. Smith would be a terrific pickup, whether he winds up in the defensive backfield or at linebacker. Syracuse fans should feel pretty good about where they stand with Smith, but obviously whether or not he decides to flip from FAU depends on how well things go this weekend when he makes his way to upstate New York.