football

Smith calmly making plans

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So much for being bogged down by the process. Markel Smith is surprisingly laid back. Once committed to Missouri, the St. Louis (Mo.) St, John Vianny running back has seen interest in his services kick up since breaking his pledge to the Tigers. Area schools are involved. So are some colleges thousands of miles away from his Midwest home.
Still, Overwhelmed he's not. He's not in much of a hurry either. The last thing he's planning on doing is rushing another verbal commitment. Smith's second trip around the recruiting block is unfolding at more leisurely pace than his last sprint for a commitment.
"It's the same ol' same ol'," Smith said. "New schools are talking to me a lot, but there's nothing really new with offers or anything like that. I'm just focused on my team right now."
Visits? He's not messing with those. Not now, anyway. Instead, he plans to wait until his senior season gets under way to tour any college campuses. NCAA bylaws won't allow Smith to take official visit yet, but three destinations are already penciled in on his itinerary.
"I'm probably going to Iowa, Missouri and Ole Miss for sure," Smith said. "And whatever other offers I get, I'll just narrow those down to two and visit those two, so I can get all five visits in."
Possible destinations for his final two visits are many. They're schools that have yet to offer, but they're also schools that have been relentless in their pursuit. Smith is confident that the offers will come. At that point, he'll simply chose.
"There's a lot of interest and talking with Indiana, Kansas State and Nebraska," Smith said. "Then there are all the schools with letters. I get a lot of letters from all over."
Smith says his best guess on which school may be next to offer is Indiana. He expects the Hoosiers to pull the trigger sometime in the next few weeks. But no matter how many offers he accumulate or how vast his options become, Missouri will always be waiting in wings.
Turns out, his de-commitment wasn't as damming as some assume.
"Missouri still has me the same as since the beginning," Smith said. "Everything is still the same with them. I only de-committed just to see what was out there. I wanted to make sure I wasn't making a bad choice. Just like everyone else, they're still up there. They didn't decrease at all."
Smith has visited Missouri, Iowa and Illinois in the past. And while his early trip to see the Tigers resulted in what he calls a hasty commitment, his tour of Iowa also made its mark.
"Iowa is a great school," Smith said. "I was impressed by everything there. It was a great campus and a great everything."
In the past, Smith has stated that Ole Miss, Iowa and Missouri were co-leaders in his recruitment. He has since stopped naming favorites publicly.
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