Smith details UM commitment and TNM

Stefan Adams

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On his first trip to Miami’s campus last Sunday, Vanguard 3-star OL Antonio Smith wanted to see if he felt comfortable enough in Coral Gables to spend the next four years there. And it didn’t take long for him to decide Miami was the place for him, as Smith committed to the Miami staff on the spot after receiving an offer, becoming UM’s 12th pledge in Category20.

“First off, it’s like a dream come true,” Smith said. “Miami is a school that I grew up loving. It was amazing to commit, everyone showing love and the coaches’ reactions - they were happy. They wanted me to be a part of the team, so they loved me down there.”

The Canes landed Smith’s commitment at a big junior day event where many major prospects showed up on campus. The recruits toured campus and listened to current players talk about their life in college, walked around the indoor practice facility, and tried on uniforms. The visit eased any and all of Smith’s concerns and made him feel comfortable enough to give an early commitment to the staff.

“What made me feel comfortable with committing was just the atmosphere, the energy, the love you get when you are there, you feel like it’s home. The coaching staff, they make you feel like family,” Smith said. “That’s a school I’ve been looking to go to as a kid, playing for Miami and becoming one of the best like Ray Lewis, Sean Taylor, the greats. So, I feel like I can become one of those type of players and that’s why I committed. Everything they got going on I want to be a part of, ‘The New Miami’.”

While it’s obvious the great trip to campus played a big role in Smith’s decision, new OL coach Butch Barry clearly deserves some credit as well for landing the 6’3” 270 pound lineman. Smith was Barry’s first commitment since taking the job at Miami and the pair are already very closely aligned in their approach to the game.

“I love what coach Barry is doing with the offensive line. Everything coach Barry does I love,” Smith said. “He’s not going to sugarcoat anything and I like that about him. He’s a good coach to hang around. I love his motto – ‘Attack the man in front of you’. That’s what I love doing, so I feel like that’s the right coach. He’s going to make sure you do everything correctly, he’s going to make sure that you do it right and not settle for half-done things, and I like that about him. I don’t like doing things half-done, I like to get it right and continue to get it right.”

Right now, UM is projecting Smith to play center on the O-Line, however, Smith doesn’t have much experience at the position, as he’s primarily been a right tackle for Vanguard. He’ll be focusing on center for his upcoming senior season and plans to spend his off-season getting more comfortable snapping the ball.

“I’ve had reps at center before, but I will focus on center completely this season,” Smith said. “My snaps have gotten better, but that’s definitely what I’m going to practice more on.”

With his commitment to the Canes, Smith says he will still take other visits, but doesn’t foresee himself leaving the class and seems like one of Miami’s more solid commits.

“I’m not decommitting or anything, but I’m still going to go to other colleges and visit,” Smith said. “I’m 1000% committed to Miami for sure, though.”

While Smith hasn’t been able to meet any of his Category20 classmates so far, he doesn’t anticipate it taking too long to build a bond with them.

“As soon as we meet, those are my brothers and I’m willing to bust my behind for them,” Smith said.

And his message for Canes fans out there?

“I’m all about the U, ‘The New Miami’. I’m going to bust my behind for the fans, my future teammates, the whole coaching staff, the university. I want to bring that sixth ring home.”

 

305407cane

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Can someone who knows more than me chime in and clear something up:

What exactly makes this kid a center prospect? We offered him as a center and he committed as a center. What makes a guy a center? His body type? I know tackles need to have length and good feet. So basically why is this kid a center prospect ?
 

Mr. Dynasty1

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Lol he loves driving dudes into the dirt. I love it!
 

Cuban-Cane

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Can someone who knows more than me chime in and clear something up:

What exactly makes this kid a center prospect? We offered him as a center and he committed as a center. What makes a guy a center? His body type? I know tackles need to have length and good feet. So basically why is this kid a center prospect ?
Hes not long enough to play tackle. Center has to have similar qualities as a tackle just doesnt need to be as long. Guards are usually more squared body big mauller type dudes that can move although less athletic
 

305407cane

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Hes not long enough to play tackle. Center has to have similar qualities as a tackle just doesnt need to be as long. Guards are usually more squared body big mauller type dudes that can move although less athletic
Thanks
 

CFLCane

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Can someone who knows more than me chime in and clear something up:

What exactly makes this kid a center prospect? We offered him as a center and he committed as a center. What makes a guy a center? His body type? I know tackles need to have length and good feet. So basically why is this kid a center prospect ?

6' 2 1/2" Is generally too short for OT. That's all i can add.
 

Gator Hatar

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Can someone who knows more than me chime in and clear something up:

What exactly makes this kid a center prospect? We offered him as a center and he committed as a center. What makes a guy a center? His body type? I know tackles need to have length and good feet. So basically why is this kid a center prospect ?
IMO it's his measurables, mobility, footwork and aggressivness. In HS coaches put bigger skilled kids where best suited for team not the player. He did say he will be playing center this season.
 

305407cane

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IMO it's his measurables, mobility, footwork and aggressivness. In HS coaches put bigger skilled kids where best suited for team not the player. He did say he will be playing center this season.
At least the coach is concerned with his college development as well cause some coaches could give a crap about what’s best for the kid in college
 

grover

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Great read, Stefan. Gotta like a kid that wants a coach to push him hard and quotes Barry's "attack the man in front of you" motto as a reason he joined the class. Let's get some beasts in there who won't wilt when a bully like Silvera is coming to take their lunch money.
 
Joined
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Can someone who knows more than me chime in and clear something up:

What exactly makes this kid a center prospect? We offered him as a center and he committed as a center. What makes a guy a center? His body type? I know tackles need to have length and good feet. So basically why is this kid a center prospect ?

I would imagine they also talked to him about blocking assignments. If a kid can talk about the blocking assignments for all of the OL positions, he may well be a center candidate, calling out the DL alignment and making sure everyone on the OL understands their roles.
 

305407cane

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Hes already ranked higher in the composite than Elgammal , Zion Nelson and Jakai Clark which means that he is ranked higher than everyone we brought in at O line last cycle and this is after him being unranked when he committed.
Man that’s a statement if I’ve ever heard one. Thanks Stacy
 

TimeB0mb

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I like the mean streak but I noticed in the highlights that it looks like he is chasing the DE a lot. Once he chases the defender down and gets his mitts on him he'll stay on the dude until he pushes him down to the ground. IMO he looks a bit slow footed for tackle (based on the highlights) but has the aggressiveness you need on the interior line.
 
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