Mama knows best, but even Mama didn't know where 5-star was headed


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Smith's family waits on the announcement
Smith's family waits on the announcement

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - As ESPN waited to come back from a television break and put 5-star linebacker Rahshaun front and center for his college commitment announcement, members of his family waited as anxiously as the fans who were tuned in.

They didn't know who Smith would pick, either.

Smith's mother, Shenika Brown, his sister, Godsister and Godmother waited for their turn on the set, and Brown told TigerNet she had no idea where her son was headed, but she hoped he would stick with his original decision and the Tigers.

"I knew he liked Clemson. He liked the family feel of Clemson, but some of the visits did throw me off," Brown told TigerNet after the announcement. "They had me a little nervous. I was just hoping that he stayed with Clemson, and he did."

The thing that drew her son to Clemson, was the very same thing that Brown likes about Smith's future school - head coach Dabo Swinney's love for his players and the family atmosphere of the university and football program offers.

"I like the family feel of Clemson," Brown said. "I've talked with Coach Swinney on a few different occasions, and I liked the things he had to say - the vision he has for my son when he comes to Clemson."

While Swinney is the face of the program, defensive coordinator Brent Venables also brings the same personality and character traits.

"Coach Venables, he's a lot like Coach Swinney. He's down to earth. He's very genuine," she said.

On the field, Brown knows the coaches will prepare her son for the next level, but she also knows that her son will have fun during his four years at Clemson.

"He (Swinney) is a great, great dancer,” she said with a laugh. “Thumbs up for Dabo. I love it. He does great at impressions, also. He does wonderful impressions. He's just an all-around very down to earth type of guy. “

With Smith's decision made, Brown and the rest of the family will drop him off Sunday afternoon to begin the next chapter of his life.

"We drove down here for the game because the car is packed and loaded with all of Shaq's stuff," she said. "We'll drop him off on our way back home."

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