Four-star linebacker Antonio Smothers didn't have to squint to see himself at Arizona. Mostly because, you know, he was already there. As the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College linebacker wrapped up an unofficial visit to the U of A campus on Monday, he talked about his recruitment.
Maybe it was because the trip was fresh in his mind. Or maybe it was the fact that the school's Tucson-based campus is familiar. Maybe it was that head coach Rich Rodriguez made an impact during a face-to-face meeting. Whatever the case, though, the four-star prospect spent at least part of the afternoon picturing himself as a Wildcat.
"I just took my unofficial visit to Arizona today," Smothers said on Monday. "I'm actually still here right now. I like it. I like the direction they are going in. Their new facility is amazing. It looks like a good fit to me. I could see myself playing here."
There's a logjam at the top, though. Arizona is by no means alone in front. Smothers, who hopes to make a decision relatively soon, has three solid favorites. Even while he sat in Tucson just off a tour of Arizona, he couldn't create any separation between them.
Smothers has already visited Miami and Arizona. So the next trip on his agenda only seems logical. There will be a lull in travel before he makes his next visit, but after it takes place, a decision could follow.
"I have a commitment to visit Kansas State sometime in August, I believe. I like their history with juco players and I like what they did with Arthur Brown. I base my game off of him. I think we are pretty similar."
A native of Chicago, Smothers played part of his high school career in Indiana before landing at Scottsdale Community College. Location isn't much of a factor in his thought process. But climate, as it turns out, may play a small part.
"I'd like to play with good weather," Smothers said. "That's always a plus, but it's not a huge deal. It's just wherever I land."
Smothers' timetable for a decision is aggressive but not finalized.
"I want to commit before the season," he said. "But if not before it, sometime during it for sure."