Brandon Smith, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound four-star athlete from New Brunswick, N.J., says he won't be making an early commitment, but has a solid top two in Rutgers and Michigan.
"If I had to decide on a school right now, I wouldn't be able to say," Smith said. "If I get to play in the Army All-America game then I'll make my announcement there. If not, I'll announce on Signing Day."
Smith, ranked No. 30 in the East by Scout.com, favors the Wolverines slightly over Rutgers, but those two lead solidly over North Carolina State, Iowa and Wisconsin. All of his favorites have offered, plus several others.
"I've always liked Michigan," he said. "I grew up watching them and they have great coaches. I have a great relationship with their linebacker coach (Steve Szabo). He texts me a lot and my mom likes him too. He's really down-to-earth and easy to talk to. He's a person first and a coach second and I like that about him."
Smith says the Wolverines are recruiting him to play defense. "They have a great defense and they want me at safety (Scout.com ranks him No. 11)," he said. "I think I'd fit in well with their defensive schemes."
While Michigan wants Smith for defense, he says everyone else is recruiting him as an athlete. "I can play on either side of the ball and most people are recruiting me as an athlete," Smith said. "It just all depends on where they need me more. Overall though, I prefer safety because I like being the last line of defense. I like knowing that they have to get past me to score."
Local favorite Rutgers is only about 10 minutes from Smith's house, but he says distance won't be a factor. "Rutgers is close to home, which is nice, but I really like that the program is on the rise," he said. "They shocked a lot of people last year and I think they proved themselves when they beat Louisville. I expect them to stay on top for a while and continue to improve."
The Scarlet Knights are the only actual school that Smith has already visited and he hasn't scheduled any official trips yet. One school he would like to visit in the fall is Iowa. "I like the coaches a lot there too," he said. "They have a great defense and I think I could be an asset for them. The coaches are very real and truthful. I don't feel like they are blowing smoke or anything."
He reports a 3.0 core GPA, but won't disclose his SAT. "My score is okay, but I feel like I can do better. I'm retaking it in October."