football

Purdue lights a spark in Smith

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A string of early scholarship offers has allowed Chicago (Ill.) Mt. Carmel 2014 defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr. to delve into recruiting visits before the start of his junior season. On Monday, the 6-foot-3, 265-pound rising junior's travels took him to Purdue's campus.
"It was a wonderful experience," Smith said. "I got an opportunity to sit down with Coach [Danny] Hope and he was telling me all about the school. He told me about the major I am looking at, which is Mechanical Engineering. He was telling me about all the Engineering programs they have because they are an Engineering school."
Monday was the first time Smith has visited Purdue's campus, and he was able to take the full tour of the athletic facilities.
"I had a tour around the school with my parents and my recruiting coach, Coach [Kevin] Maurice," he said. "He gave me a tour of the football facilities, the basketball facilities and we had an opportunity to go down on the basketball court."
Monday's visit also gave Smith the chance to interact with some of the Boilermaker players and learn about their defensive line tradition.
"I was able to talk to one of their defensive linemen - Bruce Gaston - who will be a first-round draft pick in the next couple years," Smith said. "We were going down the line of some of the other defensive linemen that may be future NFLers in the next couple years."
Purdue is one of eight schools that has extended an early offer to Smith, and the Boilermakers made a strong early impression coming out of Monday's visit.
"After visiting the school, it really put a spark in my eye," Smith said. "The Engineering part is a major plus because that is the main reason for going to a school. Even though I am going through the recruiting process to play football, ultimately I am going to get an education."
Other schools that have offered Smith include Illinois, Indiana, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Toledo and Western Michigan. He has no top group of schools at this stage and plenty or research still to be done on the programs recruiting him.
"I have an interest in all the schools that have offered me," Smith said. "When it does come down to what school I will be attending, me and my parents will sit down and do our research. Ultimately we'll let God take over and help us figure out what would be the best step to go."
Smith's campus tour continue this weekend when he travels to Cincinnati on Friday, then drives all the way over to Minnesota on Sunday. He will convene with his parents following that trip to see if they can work anymore visits in around his football schedule this summer.
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