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Roquan Smith recruit scouting report: Athletic linebacker

Roquan Smith -- Student Sports
Roquan Smith -- Student Sports

Roquan Smith is one of the top outside linebackers in the class of 2015.

Smith, out of Macon County High School in Montezuma, Ga., stands 6'2 and weighs in at 201 pounds. As of May, he's rated as a consensus four-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals, Scout and ESPN. The 247Sports Composite, a compilation of data from the four major recruiting services, ranks him as the 77th-best player in America, the sixth-best outside linebacker and the 11th-best player from the state of Georgia.

Smith has drawn interest from several top schools around the country. He holds scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, Michigan State, Penn State, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin.

Fans can follow Smith on Twitter at @RoquanSmith1.

Smith is one of the most athletic linebacker recruits in the country. And he needs to be, because at 6'2 and 201 pounds (Atlanta Nike Camp measurements), he is not very big. The first thing Smith will need in college is a lot of time in the weight room. He simply must get stronger at the point of attack.

But top schools who typically prefer bigger players are after Smith because he has the athleticism to make up for his marginal size.

Smith shows fantastic closing burst in the open field, chasing down ball carriers and either making the tackle, or turning them back inside to pursuit. It seems that players consistently underestimate his closing speed.

That closing speed also shows up when blitzing. I don't project Smith to be as good of a blitzer at the college level due to the size issue, but he is very good at it in high school.

Where Smith will likely make his money in college is at the Will linebacker position in a 4-3 defense. There, Smith will be protected by defensive linemen who will eat up blocks, and allow him to chase down plays and make a ton of tackles. He'll also be asked to cover backs in the flat, and receivers at times as well. Smith shows good hips in some of his highlights, suggesting he could be a very valuable coverage player; particularly as teams continue to throw the football more and more.

Smith is unlikely to start as a freshman for a major college program due to his lack of strength, but he does profile as a multi-year starter assuming he can put on the needed muscle.