June 29, 2010

Four-star OL visits UConn

The recruitment of Owings Mills, Md. offensive tackle Donovan Smith is beginning to heat up. 17 Division-I schools have offered the 6-foot-5, 270-pound prospect a scholarship, which is a welcome, but pleasant surprise.

"At the beginning the whole process was crazy," said Smith. "I honestly didn't know I would be getting all this attention. I mean, I knew what I could do as a player on the football field, but it was just a matter of people finding out about me. Once they found out, offers came running in."

Connecticut was among the early schools to show interest in Smith, who does not plan on trimming his list until August. However, some schools have placed themselves behind the eight ball with their hands-off recruiting approach.

"It's just funny, because I'll never talk to a school and then in the mail I'll have a scholarship from them," said Smith. "It happened with Duke. They called my coach, but they never spoke to me or anything."

Fortunately for UConn, Smith has kept an open dialogue with head coach Randy Edsall and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, and recently took his first visit to Storrs.

"I was up at UConn last weekend [June 19th and 20th] with a couple of people from down here, so I just went along for the ride," said Smith. "Instead of me participating in camp, I got a campus tour and toured the facilities."

Smith made the trip with another potential recruit from the Baltimore area, defensive back Adrian Amos.

"We're great friends," said Smith.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience for Smith, who was able to get a feel for the campus while interacting with members of the team.

"When I went up there they talked to me about being the right fit for their program, and I spent time with the coaches and players," said Smith. "I liked the facilities. You go there and you see the field that they had [Memorial Stadium] and it looks totally different from the stadium they have now."

Most of Smith's scholarship offers have come at offensive tackle, though he insists he feels comfortable at guard as well. However, Michigan State plans to use him as a defensive lineman. Now others, including Notre Dame and Illinois, may follow suit.

"I can honestly say I don't really have a preference," Smith said of playing offense or defense. "If I had to choose I would say offense, but it doesn't matter as long as I'm out there on the field helping the team get a win."

If everything goes according to plan, that's exactly what he'll be doing for the Huskies in 2011.

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