June 9, 2008

Saguaro TE Smith on verge of ASU offer?

One of Arizona's top tight end prospects is Scottsdale Saguaro rising senior Max Smith, who has rapidly developed in the last year, improving his body and skill level after catching 21 passes for 223 yards and five touchdowns last season. As a result, he's shown very well at several recent spring events.

At the Stanford Nike Camp, in May, ASUDevils.com was on hand as Smith had one of the most impressive pass catching sessions of any tight end at the event, including several one-handed grabs and zero drops.

Physically, Smith is about 6-foot-3 and a very solidly put together 250 pounds. He looks like a linebacker or defensive end but has very good feet and hands and runs quite well. He's also capable as a blocker at the point of attack.

"I put on 20-25 pounds," Smith said, when asked about his physical improvement over the last year. "I stopped playing lacrosse, started taking football seriously and we'll see how it goes from here."

So far, it seems to be going quite well. Smith drew rave reviews for his performance last week at Arizona State during a round of passing league games.

"I think it went really good," Smith said. "I averaged four or five catches in each game on the day. I guess ASU has liked the way things are going because they told (Saguaro offensive line coach Chris) Chick they were probably going to offer really soon, like in the next week.

"Then I talked to (ASU tight ends) coach (Dan) Cozzetto and he basically said the same thing, that I could be getting one this week before their camp (June 15), and then (offensive line) coach (Greg) Smith and coach (Dennis) Erickson basically both told me the same thing. I was super excited about it. The first person I called was (Saguaro star teammate) Corey (Adams) to tell him. I'm getting a lot of stuff from ASU and that's probably my favorite school."

Smith was in Tucson Sunday for the University of Arizona's one-day football camp and he will be at ASU this coming Sunday, leaving from there to attend the Boise State camp immediately after along with several of his Saguaro teammates.

"It's good to see some other schools," Smith said. "Idaho offered me, that was my first one and hopefully ASU will soon and others will come in and we'll see what happens from there. But I really like ASU a lot. After their junior day, that was really impressive. The academic stuff, the one-on-one support they give you and the facilities and everything they're doing and how good the team is right now, that's a big deal, especially if some of my teammates go there.

"When I went to ASU I realized the height all of ASU's tight ends had and I didn't have that. The coaches said the one thing was my height, they wanted to see about me because of that, wanted to watch me more and see how I played.

"The past couple months I've just been pushing in the gym, getting up my weight, my strength and speed advantage because I don't have the height advantage. So to hear about this (possible ASU offer), it makes me feel like I'm headed in the right direction. It was a big surprise to me, but I'm really happy about it."

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