June 18, 2008

ASU leads big for Smith

Arizona State has offered scholarships to 15 in-state targets by our latest count and that number will likely rise in the near future considering how early it still is in the cycle. One target who could be on the verge of an offer from the Sun Devils is Scottsdale Saguaro tight end Max Smith.

"I talked to coach (Dan) Cozzetto after the camp on Sunday and he just said how much he liked me and not to worry because he really wants to offer me and he just has to talk about it with Coach (Dennis) Erickson and the other coaches," Smith said. "(Saguaro) Coach (John) Sanders told me he spoke with coach Erickson and it seems like it's just a matter of time before ASU offers so I'm really excited about that."

Smith, a 6-foot-2.5, 250-pounder, was impressive in our viewing of him at the Palo Alto NIKE Camp, and he backed up that effort with another solid performance on Sunday at ASU's Camp.

A very fluid athlete for his size, Smith runs well, with a 4.8 second 40-yard dash, and he has extremely soft hands that seem to catch any ball in his area. He had several one-hand grabs in our viewings this spring. He's also noted for his blocking ability and footwork at the line of scrimmage. All of his tools were on display over the weekend.

"I think ASU went really well," Smith said. "It was a good learning experience for me. The linebackers I've played in the past are not nearly as good and physical and the ones I had been going against the last couple months. It's showing me how much tougher players at this level of completion and I think that's really helping me get better."

Following the camp at ASU, Smith traveled to Boise State to get a better feel for that school.

I just went up there, flew in that night because I wanted to see the campus," Smith said. "I didn't do the camp. It was more of a full pad thing and there were teams so like a scrimmage camp but they were doing one on ones with coaches. It was just more contact. It looked good but I wanted to just see the school more."

Earlier this month, Smith attended the University of Arizona's one day camp.

"ASU a lot more impressive, or at least it was for me because at UA they put tight ends with running backs," Smith said. "All the group position stuff we did, there were no tight end coaches, so all the footwork drills were like running back drills and I was out there trying to do that stuff at 255 pounds."

Smith's father attended Arizona and his mother went to Stanford, but Smith currently favors the Sun Devils in his recruitment.

"I'm really impressed with ASU," he said. "I love coach Cozzetto and after me my mom and dad met with coach Erickson last Wednesday and after my dad learned all about the campus and facilities and academics there, my dad said he was very impressed by it for an Arizona guy. My mom is really big on academics because she went to Stanford so when she learned that ASU is second highest behind Stanford in the Pac-10 with graduating players, I could see her eyes just go up and that was big for her. Obviously my parents would like to see me have a football career just like I would but the most important thing is just to have a successful life after college."

If the Sun Devils do offer a scholarship, Smith said he would strongly consider an early commitment.

"Every time I see an ASU sticker or anything that says ASU it makes me want to go there more," he said. "It's weird, I don't know why that is but I just really like ASU right now. I think I wouldn't commit right away but I'd come home and talk about it. ASU is very high up there for me. My good friend Kody committed and we've been playing together since seventh grade. I just love the way ASU is set up, everything is right there for you and it makes it easier to succeed I think."

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