First things first. Telvin Smith will not be visiting Georgia this weekend as has been widely reported by various recruiting services. But he said Bulldogs’ fans shouldn’t read anything into that.
“Nah,” said Smith, a three-star linebacker from Valdosta’s Lowndes County High School. “I’m playing basketball so I’m not going to be able to make it this weekend. I’m going to have to make it another weekend. [But Georgia coaches] were understanding. They’d been saying they wanted to do it at a later date so I think this is what they wanted.”
What the Bulldogs really want is a commitment from Smith, and they’ve been coming hard after him lately. The problem is the 6-foot-4, 200-pound outside linebacker, who also plays center on the Vikings’ basketball team, is already committed to Florida State. But that’s gone from being what’s called a “solid verbal” to a “soft commit.” And in Smith’s case, it sounds cottony soft.
“I’m am committed to Florida State and everything,” he told me, “but I just feel like maybe Georgia or Florida will have something a little bit more to offer me. That’s all. I’m just going to see what happens with everything.”
Not surprisingly, what happened is a pretty intense recruiting battle developed between Georgia, which visited him on Wednesday, and FSU, which dropped in on him Thursday, and Florida, which had him in Gainesville when the Gators stomped the Seminoles on Dec. 1.
One thing that has not dissuaded Smith from any of these schools is the lack of a defensive coordinator. Oddly enough, none of his final choices currently has one.
“All the schools I’m looking at are going through that so that’s really not an issue,” Smith said. But he did say he would likely wait to see what coach each school hires before making a choice.
Contrary to popular belief, Smith’s wavering on the Seminoles did not have much to do with coach Bobby Bowden’s controversial retirement.
“I’ve always talked to Coach Jimbo [Fisher] since Day One so I always felt like he was the guy,” Smith said. “I never really talked to Coach Bowden. The coaching thing has not really had an affect on me.”
So what will ultimately decide it for this athletic prospect.
“They’re all telling me basically the same thing, that I can come in and play early but I’ll have to play hard and compete,” Smith said. “Right now everybody says kind of the same thing. I’m just trying to get around to see all the facilities and talk to the coaching staffs a little bit more.”
Smith has not taken any official visits to date. So his plan it to do that at all three schools before making up his mind.
Asked to share a little bit of insight about himself, Smith laughed. “I’m just an ordinary guy trying to make it with football,” he said. “If I don’t make it in football I’m going to finish my education and try to be a coach and teacher. We’ll see where it goes from there.”