Rivals.com - Indiana lands Georgia playmaker Jaquez Smith
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Indiana lands Georgia playmaker Jaquez Smith

THE SITUATION: Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake wide receiver Jaquez Smith was at one time looking to stay close to home at a school more local, but over the last couple of months, his recruitment shifted, and now, he has committed to Indiana.

When official offers went out August 1, three schools caught Smith's attention, but none could compete with the Hoosiers. He just started communicating with the Indiana staff in July, but things clicked instantly, and now he is headed to play in the Big Ten.

IN HIS OWN WORDS: "Indiana really started coming on strong over the summer and we had that bond quickly," said Smith. "Things really heated up in July with Indiana. They talked to me a lot, they made me feel important and I feel like it is a great place for me.

"Things happened really quickly with Indiana. I was looking at Indiana, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech when I made the decision. I just feel like it is the best opportunity for me. Everything just matched up for me on and off the field with Indiana.

"I have had the virtual tour, I have talked to multiple coaches and they have welcomed me with open arms. I talked to the teachers as well, I have learned about the academics and Indiana feels right for me.

"As a wide receiver, I think coach Grant Heard can help me a lot and working with him is something I am looking forward to. We have been talking almost daily for a while now, and we talk about a lot more than football. We talk about family, life and he cares about his players.

"I love the coaches and I really love how they push the team. I got to see some of practice on video and I love the energy and intensity. I am rally excited to be a part of that.

"When I told coach Heard about my decision a week ago (August 9), it was exciting. We were just having a normal conversation on FaceTime, then I dropped my commitment on him. He started running down the hallway to coach Tom Allen's office and everyone was excited. It was a great feeling for all of us and I am excited about the future at Indiana."

RIVALS REACTION: Smith has been a known recruit in Atlanta since his freshman year. He picked up offers from schools like Alabama and Georgia early in his high school career after shining in camps and on film. He has shown the ability to play offense and defense on the high school level, but his home in college will be wide receiver. He has very strong, consistent hands, he is a receiver who plays physical and he will fight for the football. Smith is a player Indiana could move around, working him both inside and outside at the receiver position. He has a good burst when he gets the football and he will be a player that comes in ready to compete for early playing time. He never shies away from competition and he will take confidence and toughness with him to Bloomington.