May 2, 2012

'Boro's Smith drawing increased interest

A busy spring is picking up an even more hectic pace for Murfreesboro Oakland's Emmanuel Smith, a 6-foot-2, 198-pound two-way threat on the football field.

Smith, who plays both quarterback and safety but projects onto the defensive side of the ball at the collegiate level, recently took an unofficial visit to check out Derek Dooley and the University of Tennessee program. Additionally, Smith has seen several college coaches starting to show up at Patriots' spring practices, including some Alabama coaches earlier this week.

"Spring practice is going pretty well, and we've got out first scrimmage on Friday (against Beech from Hendersonville)," Smith said. "It's a big scrimmage to see how the team is looking, see where I can improve."

Smith took in the Vols' penultimate spring scrimmage on April 14 and came away impressed with pretty much everything he saw at Tennessee.

"I really liked the campus and coaches. The coaches were really cool," said Smith, who has seen both Alabama and Western Kentucky coaches at his first two spring practices. "I liked how they have their team meetings, certain positions within the defense and own academics and athletics building for only athletes for help and all these tutors for you, which I really like that."

In addition to the aforementioned coaches from 'Bama and WKU, as well as the interest from Tennessee, Smith is hearing from Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Syracuse and several others. While Smith is focusing on his spring camp and improving various aspects of his game, he is lining up some summer camps.

"So far for sure, we're going to the UT camp and the Ohio State camp," Smith said. "We're trying to figure out two more to go to."

Smith said UT's coaches told him an offer could definitely be in the mix down the road if Smith shines at the Vols' summer camp.

"UT said when I come down to their camp if I do a good job, they'll offer me," Smith said. "And Nebraska may offer me as well."

In the meantime, Smith will continue to work on the areas he's targeted. He's been working on Sundays at the Playmakers Academy at Pearl-Cohn High School and also has been working daily with his father, a former college athlete.

"I've got to get my foot-speed down a little bit more," Smith said. "I've been working on that too. I have OK footwork but I usually find a way to get to the ball."

Smith will participate in Sunday's prospects camp at Father Ryan in Nashville, an event that is expected to draw many of the top prospects from the Midstate area of Tennessee and other regions as well.

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