January 18, 2012

Will Smith Update

Wake Forest commitment Will Smith from Christchurch, Va. will be in Winston-Salem this weekend to officially visit the Demon Deacons.

Smith's recruitment hit a bump in the road when his main recruiters ex-Wake assistant coaches Tim Billings and Keith Henry lost their jobs. Steed Lobotzke has since taken over his recruitment.

"Coach Billings was the first person I ever talked to when I was at Wake," Smith said. "I've known him for two or three years. It was kind of nerve-racking, because 'Am I going to keep my scholarship and all kind of stuff like that, because he's recruiting me?' At the same time it was kind of hard, because I really grew to like him as a coach and as a recruiter."

The 6-foot-5 and 285-pound offensive tackle said he is 100-percent committed to the Deacs, which should be a comfort to Jim Grobe and his staff.

In only his second year of playing organized football Smith earned First Team All-State and First Team All-Conference honors on both sides of the ball, and was voted Defensive MVP for his team this season. He recorded 80 tackles and five sacks this season. Rivals.com rates Smith as a three-star recruit, and as the No. 25 overall prospect in Virginia.

A year often makes a significant difference in an athlete's development, which was the case for Smith in grasping the mental aspects of the game and improving his stance and blocking techniques.

"Coach Lobo really likes my pass-blocking, my pass-protection," Smith said. "He said, 'You can teach anyone how to run-block, but pass-blocking is something that's not taught. It's just either you can do it, or you cannot do it.' I think I'm going to work on my run-blocking next year."

With Smith's vast improvement one has to expect Wake's coaches will help him reach his full potential as a player, and the likely redshirt will give him time to learn and transition into the more complex and competitive collegiate level.

Chemistry is an important ingredient to getting the most out of one's ability and certainly a team's, which is what Smith is working to build with the other incoming Wake Forest commitments.

"I was texting Zach Gordon," Smith said. "He took his official last weekend. I was asking him how it went. I talk to Tyler Cameron a lot. He's actually on campus now. He graduated early, and moved in this week. He's my host for my official visit this weekend. I keep up with Joel [Suggs] and Ty [Hayworth] a lot."

Before Smith officially joins the Demon Deacons in July he is going to enjoy his final semester at Christchurch, and with great success on the hardwood. He averages 15 points and nine rebounds for Christchurch's basketball team, which is 13-4 and in first place in its league.

Basketball is Smith's first love, but he knows his future is in football. It is keeping well-conditioned and his weight down.

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