Smith, who the industry-generated 247Sports Composite ranks as the nation's No. 3 defensive tackle prospect this cycle, has had his name linked here and there to Miami ever since he attended the program's annual Paradise Camp two years ago.
“I liked it. It was good," Smith told InsideTheU after that two-day visit. "It was my first time being in Miami so it was just really eye-opening because Miami is very culturally diverse. The city itself was great. Coral Gables is very nice. It’s a small private school off South Beach.”
While Smith has always spoken highly of the Hurricanes, many have always thought that he will eventually end up playing somewhere in the SEC and most likely at LSU, which is why his 247Sports' Crystal Ball reads 100 percent in favor of the in-state Tigers. Still, it's notable that Miami remains alive in the recruitment even after a loss to No. 1 ranked Clemson over the weekend.
Smith hasn't had a chance to return to Coral Gables for another visit, but could in theory take an official visit in January if he decided not to sign early as the NCAA's temporary dead period should be lifted at the end of December.
One major obstacle Miami would have to overcome with Smith, however, is the fact that the All-American has indicated in the past that he would like to attend the same school as fellow five-star defensive lineman Korey Foreman. The Hurricanes aren't considered a finalist for Foreman. Either is Alabama or Florida. That means if Smith and Foreman are going to play together it would have to be at LSU or Georgia.
Smith recorded 82 tackles last season with 24 of those coming for a loss. He was also credited with 10 sacks and batted down nine passes at the line of scrimmage. 247Sports recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks has compared Smith to a young Eddie Goldman.
"Possesses impressive size that is definitely college-ready and translates to multiple fronts," Brooks wrote in an evaluation. "Tall and wears his weight well despite being north of 300 pounds. Size and natural athleticism allow for position- and scheme-versatile roles. Mass manifests in impressive functional strength that fosters disengaging ability .... Elite defensive line prospect in the 2021 class. Potential impact college player with early-round NFL Draft ceiling."
32COMMENTSMiami currently holds the nation's No. 10 ranked recruiting class. The group is headlined by Miami Palmetto five-star defensive lineman Leonard Taylor and Plantation American Heritage five-star athlete James Williams.