At the Under Armour All-American game 5* LB Rahshaun Smith re-committed to the Clemson Tigers. This should come as no surprise to Clemson fans who have followed our updates here. After Smith's official visit Smith was ready to again be a Tiger but waited for the all-star game for the announcement. This is a huge piece of the recruiting puzzle for Clemson and our defense next year. Rahshaun steps into the two deep and likely plays the WILL position. There will be some transition to the college game but Smith made the transition from DE to LB at IMG. He was a standout DE in Baltimore but his future is at LB where he can attack downhill, get to the QB and stuff the run. He has the athleticism to cover the pass but will continue to learn that part of the game. He has the speed and agility to play in space.
How We Got Here
Brent Venables evaluated Smith during the Dabo Swinney Camp and thought that his workout was the best he had every seen. BV has seen a lot of players and doesn't just spew positivity, those are his true feelings. That workout was at LB. Smith would visit campus numerous times and Clemson developed a strong bond with Smith's family, especially his mom. Mom favored Clemson throughout the process and that helped keep Clemson anchored. Smith committed to Clemson, but would later de-commit so he could go throughout the process and take all of his visits. Smith had a lot of pressure being at IMG and also from some in his inner circle to fully experience the process.
Maryland posed the biggest threat initially because of his connections to Maryland staff member Cory Robinson. Maryland had another mediocre season and fired their head coach. D.J. Durkin was hired from Michigan but didn't make the final three cut because Robinson was hired away by Toledo. LSU got an official and those defensive coaches tried to get into Smith's head and dislodge Clemson's clear advantage. That negative recruiting was overcome during Smith's official visit to Clemson. Kevin Steele also changed programs recently and the instability at LSU and Auburn hurt their chances. Auburn was a darkhorse but couldn't gain any serious traction.
What We Get
I've already said a bunch but Smith has a very high ceiling. How quickly he learns the system will determine how soon he makes an impact (not a given after watching Chad Smith struggle to pick things up). Smith steps into a perfect situation, however, with the depth chart. BJ Goodson leaving opens one hole but there is a gaping hole in the 2 deep. Tre Lamar and Smith perfectly complement one another. Lamar is an inside, run stuffer who is very instinctual and will have no problem being a hard hitting thumper. Smith also can complement Boulware by providing more size and athleticism to Boulware coupled with the ability to get downhill and after QB.
Depth at LB was the biggest concern this year and will be next year. This commitment was an absolute must. Brent Venables once again shows that he is not someone to be doubted on the recruiting trail. Credit goes to Dabo Swinney for adeptly managing Smith's de-commitment (also a good reminder for Clemson fans to never freak out with a de-commitment--all of the 'we are better off without him' nonsense that comes and doesn't help the coaches). Also nice to have Clemson on the national broadcast.
Smith will also enroll early. This will help speed up the transition and give him a chance to play early next year. High character kid who won't cause any problems. Very focused on making it to the NFL. You can find him on the Clemson directory under the name Rahshaun J. Smith.
Welcome to the Clemson family Shaq Smith!!