Growing up around his father, who played at Notre Dame, Overland Park (Kan.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star linebacker Brian Smith learned to appreciate what football is all about in the Midwest. His father, Chris Smith, quickly indoctrinated him about what Midwest football is all about, so it only made sense for him to head to the Midwest when it came time to pick a school.
Smith, who is 6-foot-2 and 222 pounds, committed to Iowa earlier this morning exclusively on Rivals Radio. He picked the Hawkeyes over his other finalist Kansas State, but he also had offers from Arizona State, Kansas, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas Tech.
"I've been a Big 10 guy for life," he said. "I've always liked that Midwest, Northeast style of football. I love the sloberknocking type of play you see every Saturday in the Big 10 in front of 70, 80,000 fans."
Smith said the decision to commit to Iowa was extremely tough because he had also built a great bond with K-State assistant coach Raheem Morris, but when it came time to make the call he followed his heart and listened to what others were saying about the Hawks.
"I talked a lot to Bryan Bulaga and everybody else also just had great things to say about (Iowa)," Smith said. "Even one of coaches at Missouri's camp had Iowa ties and said it's a great place to be. Coach (Chris) Doyle, coach (Kirk) Ferentz and all those guys are the best of the best.
"It's kind amazing to see other coaches at other schools talk about another school like that. That was something big for me."
Smith said he was also won over by his recruiting coach, Eric Johnson.
"Coach Johnson was the perfect recruiting coach," Smith, the No. 3 player in Kansas, said. "He didn't text me too much. He also made the point that I'm one of their top guys. I liked that about him. Kirk Ferentz is also great. We were at a practice last week, and he spent more time talking to my dad and I. So that was good thing to see. He was taking his time out to talk to a recruit."
Iowa City also sold him too on his final decision.
"It's a home feeling for me," he said. "I like the city a lot. Iowa City and the university are kind of mixed in with the downtown. I liked how it was a city feeling where a lot of people are around and it wasn't too rural or out there, but it still had a nice hometown feeling to it."
Smith will return to Iowa City on September 29th for his official visit.
"This was a huge decision, and I'm glad it's over," Smith said. "I don't have to worry about anything other than helping my team out. It was a real honor to announce on Rivals, and I'm just excited about the future at Iowa. It was the right place for me."