August 13, 2010

2012 Philadelphia ATH has favorites

South Carolina has verbally offered a scholarship to a Class of 2012 athlete from the Garden State and the Gamecocks are one of the schools at the top of his list.

Nate Smith is a 5-foot-11, 176-pound versatile athlete with the potential to play several positions in the college ranks.

Last year he was teammates with Sharrif Floyd, the nation's No. 1 defensive tackle who signed with Florida earlier this year. Plenty of schools were at George Washington High School recruiting Floyd and the Gamecocks were impressed with Smith while they were in town.

"I picked up (the verbal offer from South Carolina) my freshman year actually," he recalled. "It was because they were recruiting Sharrif.

"I went down there for a little 7-on-7 camp down there (this summer). I was impressed that they had one of the highest graduation percentages for football players in the SEC."

South Carolina is only one of the schools near the top of Smith's list, though. It's yet to be determined whether the others will offer, but he's got a few schools in mind nonetheless.

"I'm interested in Miami, Oregon, Ohio State, and I like Rutgers a little bit, too.

"I liked Miami a little bit coming up but I like them mostly because I'd like to play for a team down south. I like the heat.

"Oregon ... I just like them.

"I like Ohio State because they put guys in the NFL, especially D-Backs. They have a lot of D-Backs in the NFL. Some people are recruiting me for defensive back and that would be a top school if I decide to play that in college.

"Rutgers is a nice team. They're always in bowl games."

Though Smith said Ohio State is especially attractive because of their track record with defensive backs he's hoping to play another position in college.

"I would prefer to play receiver in college but some people are just recruiting me for athlete," he said.

Smith is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to South Carolina in early September for their first game against Southern Miss.

Last year he caught 20 passes for 375 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively he recorded 58 tackles and one interception.

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