Brandon Smith is one of the top defensive prospects from the Peach State. Smith, 6-3 and 235 pounds, is from Columbus (Ga.) Carver High School. Last season he played strong-side linebacker alongside Jarvis Jones and LeRon Furr.
"All the coaches recruiting me are saying I will play defensive end," Smith said. "I want to play end. I come off the ball well, I am aggressive, and I know there's a good chance every time I will beat an offensive tackle. In time, I think I will be too big to play outside linebacker."
According to Smith he has 15 scholarship offers including Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, and Southern Miss.
"Right now I would say that Southern Miss really sticks out to me. They are my leader. I love the coaches. They really show how much they care and want to make me a better man. I have not made a visit yet but I want to see them. That will most likely be in mid-June. I hope to talk with coach (Larry) Fedora sometime. I am really focusing on them. I want to really check out that program. Coach (Chris) Kapilovic is recruiting me and he has been great.
USM will have some stiff competition, especially from some SEC schools. This should be a big battle until the end. But first Smith has some trips to make.
"I would also like to see Georgia again, Florida and Tennessee this summer. Florida offered me last week. Georgia is like the home town school for me and it's what I grew up knowing. I have a good relationship with Tennessee and coach (Lance) Thompson) so I am interested in the Vols.
"South Carolina was the last school that offered me (Monday) and I love coach (Lorenzo) Ward. He recruited me while he was at Arkansas. "
This past year Smith saw a few of his teammates go through the rigors of recruiting. What did he learn watching Jones, Furr and the others.
"Jarvis is like my brother. He told me to take my time and make the best decision for me. He said you need to know what you are looking for. For me, I just want to be a better person. You never know what can happen out there and I need an education. I want a school to be with me through thick and thin."