Brandon Smith, the 6-foot-2, 210 pound athlete from New Brunswick (N.J.), does it all for his high school team, playing quarterback, safety and linebacker. He finished his junior season with 1053 yards passing and 16 touchdowns. Smith had an additional 670 yards rushing with nine scores on the ground. Defensively, he had 60 tackles and nine interceptions.
"On defense I'm really versatile," Smith said. "I can play linebacker or man-up with the receiver at cornerback. My natural position is safety. I'm really dangerous on defense. I feel like I'm a good leader and I love being the last line of defense. You need to go through me to score. I love knowing that the game is on my shoulders.
"I need to improve my route-running and footwork," he said. "I want to be able to see the field better and read the offense quicker. Also, as a quarterback I want my throwing mechanics to improve."
Smith benches 270 pounds, squats 415 and runs a 4.5 40.
He favors Michigan slightly over Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia and Boston College and says all five have offered him. Smith also has offers from Syracuse (first to offer last September), Colorado and Connecticut.
"I grew up following Michigan," Smith said. "I just love their style of play. They are a fast-paced team and they know how to control the game. They also have really good academics and are well respected in both football and academics.
"They are the only school that has told me what position they want me for," he said. "They are saying safety. Everybody else is telling me that I'm an athlete."
Smith is unsure whether he will be attending any upcoming combines or camps, but he will be at the Boston College Junior Day this Sunday (March 25). He already attended the Rutgers Junior Day earlier this month. "They are really close," Smith said. "It's like less than 10 miles. I like that they are close because my mom and grandma wouldn't have to travel to see me play. That's why they are near the top of my list and that's what they have over all the other schools. I know that my family will come see me play wherever I go, but if I stay close they could come to every home game and it would be that much easier."
Besides the Scarlet Knights, the only other school that Smith has visited is Maryland, when he attended the Terps game versus Florida State last season. "The atmosphere there is crazy," he said. "It’s indescribable. I love how the fans support the team. It's not just people who went there. Everyone comes out to see them.
"I really like the Maryland coaches," Smith said. "They are very cool and they talked with me like I was already one of their players. They really made me feel at home."
Smith says he's still very open and not close to deciding. "It's not just about football for me," he said. "It's also about getting an education. I really want to major in criminal justice, so the school has to offer that major. I have to like the area too, since I'm gonna be living there for four years.
"If I feel that one school has all the others beat, I'll commit," Smith said. "I feel like I'll know when I know."
He reports a 3.0 core GPA and has not taken the SAT or ACT.