Southwest DeKalb’s star outside linebacker Terrance Smith committed to Florida State on Sunday.
Smith said he hadn’t really planned to commit this early. It just kind of happened that way.
“Yeah, it happened pretty quick,” said Smith, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound rising senior who is considered a top 20 prospect in the state. “Me and my mom had been talking about it a lot lately and we just decided to go ahead and do it.
Late March is not generally considered a now-or-never time on the recruiting calendar. But Smith felt strongly enough about the Seminoles that he didn’t want to take a chance on missing an opportunity to play for them.
“I’d been thinking about it a while,” said Smith, who delivered the news to FSU assistant Dameyune Craig about 2 p.m. Sunday. “It was between Alabama and Florida State. Florida State has a limited amount of scholarships. I decided I was going to secure my spot while it was still there.”
The Seminoles are indeed tight on scholarships, and the ones they have been going fast. Smith is No. 11 for first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher. There currently is room for only 12 new players next season.
It’s not like Smith didn’t have any other choices. He had more than a dozen offers, including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida State.
And there was pressure to go in some other directions. Smith’s parents are both Clemson alums. His late father, Terry Smith, played wide receiver for the Tigers. Meanwhile, teammates Ken Malcome and T.J. Stripling are Georgia signees and Marcques Dixon and Jonathan Mincy signed last month with with Tennessee and Auburn, respectively.
Smith has heard from all of them.
“Oh yeah,” he said with a laugh. “I thought about playing with them in the SEC. But I just felt like I’d have a better opportunity to play early at Florida State. Everybody’s happy with my decision. Everybody supported me.”
Smith said he visited the Seminoles for their last junior day on Feb. 20 and was really blown away. He talked about really liking Fisher, who coached Smith’s cousin Stephen Davis at Auburn, and forming a tight bond with Dameyune Craig, the assistant who recruited him.
“I’m pretty relieved,” he said of making the decision. “Having to go through the whole recruiting process is pretty grueling. Knowing where I am going to go is a great relief.”
That said, Sunday’s commitment won’t likely shut down recruiting completly for Smith.
“I might take a couple more visits but nothing serious,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m completely done with the recruiting process but pretty much.”
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