The news of Tennessee commitment Jacques Smith has stirred up a lot of talk about the Vols chances of retaining him as part of their class of 2010. Fortunately for the Vols and their fans the Ooltewah High School star was seemingly on a couple of goodwill missions as he was following through on some promises to some former Vol coaches.
The 6-foot-3, 230 pound star defensive lineman is still a solid Volunteer commit in spite of the fact that he recently took trips to both LSU and Syracuse.
“I went to both schools mostly because I have such a great relationship with Coach Chavis from his time at Tennessee and the same goes for Coach Adkins at Syracuse. They both knew me from their time in Knoxville and I thought I owed it to them to take a visit to their new schools” said the four-star defensive end.
Many people may question his intentions but it is clear after speaking with him that both trips were just a matter of him following through on something he said he would do long ago.
“I wanted to honor those guys and I don’t see the harm in checking out another school. I just wanted to help them any way I could and it was fun to check out different places. That being said, I am all Volunteer, all the time. After my visit for “Senior Day” there is no way I could pass up on playing in Knoxville.”
Smith’s visit to Knoxville for the Vanderbilt game was one he will remember for a long time.
“There was so much passion and emotion there that day and honestly that was for a group of guys that haven’t been the most successful class at Tennessee. The way they played for each other and the way the fans supported them through everything that has happened there lately was really special. The way the guys banded together and played some inspired football guaranteed that I will never go anywhere but the University of Tennessee.”
Smith committed on signing day last year and has been solid for almost an entire year. As he put it, “If signing day wasn’t for another three years, there would be nothing to worry about. I am headed the only place I can see myself and that is to UT. I cannot wait to be done with everything and get myself over to Knoxville. Actually it is coming up really quickly and it won’t be too much longer.”
After a stellar junior season that allowed for Smith to become a US Army All-American, he followed that up with another strong campaign despite being double and sometimes triple teamed off the edge. At last tally, Smith had 80 tackles, 22 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
His high level of play earned him the right to head to San Antonio, Tx to take part in the US Army Game. Once that game is over he has one thing in mind.
“I will be heading to Knoxville as soon as I get back from the game. I plan on heading there to get everything started the following Monday which right now looks like it will be the 11th of January.”
In Spite of the recent visits it looks as if Volunteer fans and the staff can rest easy as one of the valuable pieces of the dominant defensive line that is coming in soon is staying put, right where he always knew he would be.