BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 25: Players of the LSU Tigers lift The Boot trophy after a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Tiger Stadium on November 25, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 41 to 17. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
It's hard to find big tight ends who can move well and also have a projectable frame as blockers, but LSU landed one on Monday.
The LSU Tigers picked up some good news on Monday afternoon when elite 2013 Lake Charles (LA) Barbe tight end DeSean Smith took to Facebook to announce his intent to play college football in Baton Rouge.
The 18th commitment for the Tigers in the class and the second tight end to join the group, Smith is a consensus four-star prospect and is ranked by Rivals as the third-best tight end in the country.
The 6-4, 220-pound Smith held at least 17 offers before making his decision, including invitations to play at Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M. He had named the Crimson Tide as his leader back in mid-February, but the Tigers surged into the pole position less than a month later, a position they held until his commitment.
Smith told Geaux247 that head coach Les Miles was a happy man when he heard the news:
Coach Miles was very excited, and he said I made his day and all that. He couldn't stop laughing and just kept saying this was very big for me to give him the news. Coach Miles said there really wasn't much he could say other than that I made his day.
It was a decision that Smith had made some time ago:
I've been waiting to do it, and I just couldn't wait any longer. It's been hard to wait for two years to make a decision, and the last month or so I really thought about it a lot. After all of that, I said it's time to get it over with.
And so he did.
A prospect with elite speed for his position essentially playing as an oversized wide receiver in high school, Smith reports a 28-inch vertical and shows it off consistently in jumpball situations by elevating over smaller defenders to come down with the football when he isn't stretching the seam vertically with his aforementioned speed.
With the frame/shoulder width to eventually play at 250 or more pounds, Smith will need to work on improving his overall strength and ability as an in-line blocker since he plays so much receiver in high school, but most blocking success is a result of strength, technique, and effort, all things can the Tiger coaching staff can help him develop once he gets to LSU.
The bottom line is that few players at his size have the combination of athleticism and projectability, the major reasons why all the services think so highly of Smith. And apparently quite a few colleges that wanted him to strap on a helmet for them in college.
NUC - Desean Smith - Video Profile (via NUCfootball)