Aarin Smith

Aarin Smith, linebacker from Fresno Bullard High School in California, verbally committed to UND over the weekend.  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.  That shows the extreme athleticism that this kid has.  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.  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.  This along with the fact he is 6-1 makes him a question mark at linebacker for FBS teams.  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.  Kudos to the Sioux staff for finding Smith and getting him in early before bigger schools can come back late on him.  He had junior offers from UConn & Eastern Michigan which apparently did not pan out.  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.  Right now, he has offers from Connecticut and Eastern Michigan.”

ESPN Profile



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7 Responses

  1. mitchell

    I saw a tweet that stated that this could be the first 3 star recruit for the dakota schools. As an SDSU fan, I’ve been following the DI move for all 4 schools and I do believe this is the first 3 star player I’ve seen. The way rivals places starts though is more about what schools are recruiting the player rather than actual talent the player might possess.

    SDSU did have one player transfer in from Purdue who was a 3-star recruit.


    Kyle just graduated this year. He split time at FB for the Jacks the past 2 years but never started. Hopefully your 3 star player turns out to be more productive.

    1. RD17

      UND has had a Rivals 3 star player transfer in before. CB Anthony Longe from St. Paul was an Illinois transfer that transferred to UND in about 2005. He was an average D-II corner for the Sioux.

      The point is that a highly ranked recruit transferring isn’t nearly as big a deal as landing one straight out of high school, like UND has done with Aarin Smith.

      The reason for this is that the transfer has already proven he can’t play to the level of his recruiting ranking, thus the reason for the transfer. In fact I can think of a D-II school whose last two starting quarterbacks were Rivals 4 star players coming out of high school. They ended up in D-II because they weren’t as good as advertised.

  2. Atlanta Fans of Aarin Smith

    Way to go Aarin! This young man definately has what it takes to be a star OLB! All the very best!

  3. Phil

    We have a very loyal following for football and we are very much excited about having Aarin lead us into the Big Sky and the playoffs. We love our defense here.

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