|Cleveland (OH) Glenville safety Erick Smith|
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Notes: Holds offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and West Virginia . . . Rivals 4-star safety, #228 overall . . . 247 Sports 4-star, 90 grade, #26 safety . . . Attends alma mater of Michigan defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Willie Henry
Strengths: Good straight line speed . . . Good leaping ability . . . Solid inside-out pursuit player . . . Not afraid to hit . . . Runs feet after contact . . . Does a good job of wading through traffic . . . Sheds blocks aggressively . . . Very aggressive blitzer . . . Seems to be excited about getting into backfield
Weaknesses: Somewhat limited as an athlete . . . A good athlete, but doesn't really leap off the screen . . . Needs to use hands better to shed blocks . . . Could improve backpedal . . . Hips lack fluidity transitioning out of backpedal
Projection: Strong safety. I don't think Smith is at his best backing up in coverage, although he does have decent range and athleticism. He's a good tackler who deals well with traffic, so I think he would fit best playing in the box, helping with the run, and then occasionally giving the offense a different look by playing deep coverage occasionally.
Reminds me of: Thomas Gordon. While Smith appears to be a little taller, his playing style reminds me of current Michigan safety Thomas Gordon. Gordon, of course, has been playing free safety for the past couple seasons, but he has been playing strong safety this spring and may fit best at SS in the long term.
Likelihood of coming to Michigan: Ohio State appears to be the leader, but if the Buckeyes falter in his recruitment, the Wolverines appear to be lurking in that next group of schools.