It turns out the allure of announcing his intention at the US Army All-American game in January faded off in the last month.
And now Rivals’ No. 3 tight end in the country is committed to playing football for the LSU Tigers.
Just three days after his long-time best friend Melvin Jones gave Les Miles his verbal commitment, Lake Charles native DeSean Smith has done the same.
“Coach Miles was very excited, and he said I made his day and all that,” said the 6’4, 225 tight end from Barbe High School. He couldn’t stop laughing and just kept saying this was very big for me to give him the news. Coach Miles said there really wasn’t much he could say other than that I made his day.”
LSU is now at 18 commitments for the 2013 class, 13 of which are 4-star prospects. With Smith’s commitment, they moved up to No. 4 in the latest Rivals’ team recruiting rankings, and No. 3 in 24/7 Sports.
Smith was recruited by former McNeese Cowboy and new LSU wide receivers coach Adam Henry, who has made quite a splash in Baton Rouge as a recruiter. He is also responsible for the commitments of four other 4-star prospects: WR John Diarse, WR Quantavius Leslie, QB Anthony Jennings, and LB Jones.
Smith finished his junior regular season with 43 receptions for 764 yards and seven touchdowns, earning first team All-State honors. Ranked the second best player overall in Louisiana by Rivals, he held a bevy of offers before making his decision, including those from Alabama and Florida.
He had named the Crimson Tide as his leader back in mid-February, perhaps turned away by LSU’s anemic offense in the BCS national championship game. Over the weekend it seemed Florida might be the team to earn his commitment.
But in the end it was Smith’s impressions of LSU’s spring game, namely the rise of quarterback Zach Mettenberger, that helped make his decision easier. Smith comes from a high school program at Barbe that runs a wide-open offense that often utilizes the multi-talented Smith at wide receiver, not unlike a Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis in the NFL.
“I figured it would be the best place for me, especially with the new offense they put in,” Smith said. “The way they played and performed at the spring game, the way they threw the ball made me very happy. That’s what I was looking for.”
Smith has elite speed for his position that can stretch a defense, and he consistently out-jumps defenders for the football, an asset the Tigers will undoubtedly use in redzone situations.
He will need to work on his skills as a run blocker since he is used so much as a receiver in high school, but the combination of a wide frame that will carry more muscle and the coaching of the Tigers’ staff will undoubtedly help make the already gifted Smith a formidable weapon for LSU in the next couple of years.
“I see myself doing everything a tight end should do,” Smith said. “Catch, block, make big plays, make big blocks for his team to help win a national championship. I’m there to play for the team, not myself.”