5-star Clemson commit's coach compares him to Hall of Famer


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Smith is shown working out at Dabo Swinney's camp last June
Smith is shown working out at Dabo Swinney's camp last June

Rahshaun SmithRahshaun Smith
Linebacker
6-3, 230
Towson, MD

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is rated as the nation’s number one outside linebacker for the 2016 recruiting cycle by recruiting service Rivals, and the head coach of Clemson’s newest commit says it’s a well-deserved honor. He even compared Smith to a former teammate who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

The 5-star Smith plays at Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy, where he is coached by former Florida St. and Indianapolis Colt wide receiver E.G. Green. Smith committed to the Tigers during an ESPN webcast from his hometown of Baltimore, becoming Clemson’s eighth commitment for the 2016 cycle.

Green told TigerNet that Smith is not only good on the field, he’s good off the field and both of those characteristics remind him of former Seminole teammate and linebacker Derrick Brooks, an 11-time Pro Bowl player who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.

“He's a great kid. Natural born leader. Very athletic,” Green told TigerNet. “Reminds me of Derrick Brooks - Hall of Famer with the Bucs. He has the same type of quality demeanor. Very hard worker. Very high football IQ.”

What is it about Smith that makes Green think of Brooks?

“They are both really competitive. They have unbelievable athletic ability,” Green said. “Great leadership qualities. He relates well to everyone. Brooks could relate to offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, receivers - it didn't matter. He's a playmaker. Derrick always had a knack to make that play even in practice. He shows up. At the end of the day, he just makes plays. Clemson is getting a really good player.”

Green said that Smith has a focus not normally seen in a teenager and is the kind of player a college program can build a team around.

“He's a really solid individual,” he said. “You can tell that someone has invested a lot of energy and time in him to make sure that he has his priorities right and that he has set goals and he has a vision for where he wants to go in the future. That's unique for a young teenager to be that focused and that set on what they want to do with their life. He's always on time, never late. He doesn't miss any practices. He doesn't miss any films. He's pretty much a very dependable kid. Coupled with him being a 5-star athlete, that's the type of player that you can build the defense or the team around.”

Some scouting services see the 6-3, 229-pounder as an outside linebacker at the collegiate level while others seem him as a rush end. Green says Smith can do either one.

“He's athletic so he can do multiple things if he's coached up in that position,” he said. “I love him standing up and roaming and giving him the opportunity to hunt to the football. I think he's really good in space, so I can definitely see him standing up if he needs to. He's a smart kid. He can play the rush end if you need him to, also. It will definitely be interesting. With him, you have options - you can stand him up, you can put him on the edge, probably can do both in the same game and move him around. That would probably be the best way to use him in the future.”

What was it that let the Tigers land another big-time recruit from IMG and out of the state of Florida?

“Clemson does a good job in recruiting. They've always gone everywhere, especially in Florida to get some top athletes,” Green said. “They have some great coaches. They present themselves well. Obviously, they have a great program on the field. They've had a lot of success. They have a family-type atmosphere that's more than just a player-coach relationship. Clemson will be a great fit for him.”


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