Rahshaun Smith is the No. 2-rated inside linebacker in the 2016 class according to 247Sports.com. A 4.0 student, he transferred this year from St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) to IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and was the team’s top tackler. He de-committed from Clemson in August and plans to make his college choice in early January. He has agreed to give USA TODAY High School Sports exclusive access into his world in a blog.
What’s up, everyone? This is Rahshaun Smith, back for Part II of my blog. Recruiting has definitely been a long process, but it’s been fun. I received my first offer in the eighth grade. I’ve just been taking it day by day. You only get an opportunity like this once in a lifetime, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to take a step down from being committed to Clemson.
I have teammates who are committed to certain places and they’re all, ‘You want to come here.’ Some of them are just playing, but some of them are for real and I wouldn’t mind playing with some of these guys at the next level. On one of my official visits to LSU, I went with (IMG teammates) Saivion Smith and Shavar Manuel and it was fun thinking what it would be like to be there at the same time.
The most enjoyable thing on a visit was at Clemson, the first time I got there. To dress out in a uniform. That was a good experience, going to the top of the hill before a night game against Florida State, as if I was a Tiger. That was amazing with everyone chanting your name.
When I decided I wanted to open up my recruitment. I talked it over with my family before I made the decision. I talked to coach (Brent) Venables (Clemson’s defensive coordinator) and he put me on the phone with coach (Dabo) Swinney. When I talked to him about my reasons, I wouldn’t say he was encouraging me, but he understood where I was coming from.
Wherever I go, I want to major in business. My mentor/father figure, Cory Robinson, is now the director of player personnel at the University of Maryland. Prior to getting that job, he ran his own company, called Next Level Nation, which helped change lives for a lot of people in Baltimore.
We would drive around the country in a 12-passenger van and we would be 16 deep packed into that van. He wanted to showcase us because he wanted for us to have an opportunity to make it out because there are a lot of guys where I come from who don’t get out because they don’t have the opportunity. I watched that company go from almost nothing to something. It’s nationwide now. That’s something I’ve always wanted to continue when I get older. It’s turned into a million-dollar company, running camps. It was a good experience, getting to see that.
That’s it for Part II. Follow me on Twitter at @