Aarin Smith, linebacker from Fresno Bullard High School in California, verbally committed to UND over the weekend.Â Scout.com broke the story last night and we were able to confirm it today. Smith is the most highly ranked recruit the Sioux have ever gotten, being a Rivals Three Star (81st ranked player in CA).
Smith, 6-1 – 190 lbs, is projected as a LB for the Sioux but could easily play safety if called upon.Â That shows the extreme athleticism that this kid has.Â It is also a trend we have noticed the last year or so where the coaches are trying to get more athletic safety type players at the OLB position.
We have a feeling that Smith slipped between the cracks due to size and the way he was used in high school.Â He had his hand on the ground for a good part of his career and it didn’t allow him to show is athleticism in space.Â This along with the fact he is 6-1 makes him a question mark at linebacker for FBS teams.Â He is a natural stand-up OLB and will fit in very well in UND’s 3-4 scheme.
We have said all along that Northern California is one of the most underrecruited areas of the country and this is definitely one of those cases.Â Kudos to the Sioux staff for finding Smith and getting him in early before bigger schools can come back late on him.Â He had junior offers from UConn & Eastern Michigan which apparently did not pan out.Â He also had interest from San Jose State and Fresno State.
Here is a quote from an ESPN site:
“Smith has developed as much as any player in the valley over the past year. Scouts love his speed, long wingspan, and athletic ability. He also has fluid hips in pursuit and isn’t afraid of contact. In May, Smith was MVP of the linebackers at the Nike Stanford Camp.Â Right now, he has offers from Connecticut and Eastern Michigan.”