When 2013 Lake Charles (La.) Barbe tight end Desean Smith headed to Baton Rouge bright and early on Saturday morning Texas A&M had a leg up on the Tigers.
But when the 6-foot-5, 227-pounder got on I-10 to head back home he was like a kid who just left Disneyland for the first time.
“Oh my god. I wanted to commit so bad but I know I have to wait and still let this recruiting thing play out,” Smith said. “I went to two Texas A&M games and Texas A&M is unbelievable. But LSU was incredible; outstanding; unreal. Don’t get me wrong I still like A&M a lot but LSU has just moved up to the top.”
Smith had not been to an LSU game since he was 10-years-old so he was anxiously waiting to see if the No. 1-ranked Tigers would look like the top-ranked team in America against 17th-ranked Florida.
“They played outstanding,” he said. “I didn’t think they would crush Florida like that. They definitely proved they are the No. 1 team in the country.
“(Tyrann) Mathieu is such an unbelievable player and to think that so many schools didn’t even recruit him. And Spencer Ware is the type that just punishes people. They are such a good team and fun to watch.”
Smith soaked in all of the sights and atmosphere and stayed focus on the game, but admits he paid a lot of attention to one player in particular.
“I can see myself being another DeAngelo Peterson,” he said. “When D-Lo comes out they are usually blocking and when he is in he is involved in the passing game. That’s important to me in seeing how I would be used in college and I can see myself being used in that same capacity but being split out a little more at LSU.”
Smith spent time with several coaches before and after the game including defensive line coach Brick Haley, who recruits the Lake Charles area, as well as tight ends coach Steve Ensminger. Les Miles also made his presence felt and let the big tight end know where he stacked up on their board for 2013.
“Coach Miles is so genuine,” said Smith. “He said he was looking forward to me coming and how he wishes I could play there one day. Coach Miles is so cool and so real and just great to talk to. I have a real good relationship with those guys.”
Smith is going to take a step back and refocus on his junior season as Barbe (4-2, 2-0) has a huge district battle on Friday against undefeated Carencro (6-0, 3-0). He has done his part on offense, with the help of 2014 wide receiver Trey Quinn, as Smith has 27 receptions for 500 yards and four touchdowns for the Bucs.
He knows that coaches are already pushing for an early commitment so that is always in the back of his mind. Right now, though, there isn’t a timeframe for making any kind of decision on that front.
“I’m not sure,” Smith said. “It’s already coming down to the wire right now but I’m going to wait until my parents give me the go ahead. It could be a couple of months but it’s up to them right now. They’ve always given me great guidance and they want me to wait and see what the recruiting process is like so that’s what I’m going to do.”
In addition to LSU and Texas A&M, Smith also has offers from Tennessee and Boise State.