Jason Smith has a wide-ranging skill set. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior is highly-regarded by the recruiting services, ranking No. 8 in the state according to 24/7 and No. 11 by Rivals, which both list him as an “Athlete.”
Smith played quarterback at McGill-Toolen and his impressive speed makes him a threat at wide receiver as well. He’s run in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash.
Smith, a four-star recruit committed to Auburn, is listed as a wide receiver for Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. But since it is an exhibition, he may get a chance to play some quarterback as well.
He’ll be playing with several other Auburn commits this weekend, including G.W. Carver quarterback Jeremy Johnson. Smith said he’s looking forward to competing with Johnson this weekend and then when they reach the Plains, where he’ll attempt to beat out Johnson and returning starter Jonathan Wallace for the quarterback position.
“I think it’s going to be a great experience, especially competing with Jeremy and Wallace. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m willing to outwork both of them,” Smith said. “If I don’t get the quarterback spot (at Auburn), I’m willing to help my team out and play receiver. If that’s one of the things that I have to do, I will.”
Smith remains committed to Auburn — a decision he made in July — following the recent coaching change from Gene Chizik to Gus Malzahn. Auburn’s new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee visited Smith following his basketball game on Friday.
“I think it’s a great change,” Smith said. “Coach Lashlee is a great guy. He’s coached some of the best, and I would love to be coached by him and coach Malzahn.”
McGill-Toolen ran a version of the spread offense, so Smith is more accustomed to the style Malzahn is bringing back to Auburn rather than Scot Loeffler’s pro-style. Smith said he was a “little hesitant” about playing in a pro-style system, and the change in coaching staffs makes him more at ease with the offense.
“They didn’t win as many games as they wanted and that offense didn’t provide,” he said. “I know they were great coaches last year, and hopefully it will be more successful this year.”
For now, Smith’s focus will be enjoying the opportunity to compete with other top players in this weekend’s game and being a role model for the next generation of all-stars.
“To see other guys back then when I was younger, seeing them on TV playing in this game, I thought they were the world,” he said. “When I see myself in it now, I’m setting examples for the little kids coming up just like I did.”