Georgia commit says Clemson "definitely has a shot"


by - Staff Writer -
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Smith says Clemson has a shot for his services. (Photo: StudentSports)

Nolan Smith doesn’t want to start a Twitter war with the social media savvy Mike Jones, Jr., and he wants everybody to know that he still wants to lead the way for Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class.

But he also wants the Clemson coaches to know that the Tigers definitely have a shot at landing his services.

Smith, who might wind up a 5-star in all services sooner rather than later, is a freakishly athletic defensive end out of Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy who picked up a Clemson offer from defensive coordinator Brent Venables this week.

Smith committed to Georgia in late January, but let other schools know his recruitment was still open from a standpoint of taking visits and receiving offers.

“It's really nice. Not many people for 2019 have an offer,” Smith told TigerNet about the Clemson offer. “I think you can count on one hand or two who has an offer from Clemson and who they really want, so it feels really nice.

“Coach Venables reached out to me and told me that I had the Clemson offer. We talked for a while last night. Me and Coach V are really cool. We're talking and I'm getting to know him. Every time I go there, he's a character.”

Smith is a teammate of current Clemson commits Mike Jones and Xavier Thomas, but Smith is quieter and doesn’t want to get involved in a social media battle over his choices.

“Mike Jones just tweeted out that there's a lot of UGA fans that are going to be upset,” Smith said. “He's trying to start a Twitter war and I'm not with that. I'm going to have to turn my notifications off before that hits a fan.”

Smith, who grew up in Georgia and played at Calvary Day in Savannah, says the Tigers are definitely in the running because one of his best friends is a Tiger – tight end Milan Richard.

“Clemson definitely has a shot. I know a lot of boys up there. I used to go to Calvary Day School and the tight end that went to Calvary Day School will hopefully be the starter this year,” Smith said of Richard. “Me and him are really close. I'm going to stay with him this summer for three days at Clemson. That makes them have a shot because he tells me a lot about them and the program and the caliber of program they have.”

What does he hope to see while on Clemson’s campus?

“I'm not a big facility guy. Milan and I talked about this and if you go to a school just because of facilities then you're going for the wrong reasons because the facilities will eventually get old,” he said. “You choose a school because of the people and the type of program they run and the coach of the program.”

Smith weighed in at a little over 200 pounds when he arrived at IMG, but IMG has forced him to eat breakfast every day and he’s now up to 223 while adding speed and explosiveness. Georgia sees him as an outside linebacker while Venables wants him as an end.

Smith said he knows Clemson’s reputation for putting defensive ends in the NFL.

“I'll take that into consideration and I've looked at that,” he said. “They'll play me at d-end and Georgia wants to play me at outside linebacker. Georgia has a few outside linebackers that are going to be in the NFL too.

“I'm just a person that chases down the ball. I just do my job. I don't try to do anything spectacular or out of the ordinary. I just do my job and that's all you can do. If you can take care of the small things, then the big things will take care of themselves, that's how I play.”

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