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Juco DE Za'Darius Smith enjoys FSU trip

7/24/2012

Florida State will be looking to address the defensive end position in the class of 2013.

Two players, Brandon Jenkins and Tank Carradine, will be entering their senior seasons this fall. And the very talented Bjoern Werner, a junior, stands to be courted heavily by the NFL.

The Seminoles aren't afraid to look to the junior college ranks and have specifically targeted Za'Darius Smith (Scooba, Miss./East Mississippi CC), who visited Tallahassee this weekend.

"It was great," said Smith. "Going up there, I did not know what to expect. I got up there, it was just exciting. I enjoyed it."

Having never been shown the campus like he was before, Smith was impressed not only with the staff at Florida State, but also the different tools the school has to help players improve.

"They have a great coaching staff," he began. "Coach Eliot and those coaches are going to put some guys into the league -- that was another thing I wasn't expecting.

"Knowing that they have so much technology that most schools don't have, like the 3-D film room, the monitor thing that shows your heart rate. That's just another thing."

Jenkins, the Seminoles defensive leader, was one of the current players to host Smith. The veteran defensive end was quick to explain that should Smith attend FSU, his leadership skills will be required immediately.

"He was telling me that I have to lead," recalled the 6-foot-6, 252-pound defensive lineman. "Coming in, I have to be a leader because most of those guys are leaving. He was just telling me that I have to come in and be a junior, and knowing that I will be a junior, I have to lead. That's basically what he was telling me."

Fresh off his trip, Smith gave the Seminoles high marks and thinks they did a lot to help him in the race for his signature.

"They stand a good chance," he said. "I feel like I am going to make a decision.

"I don't have an exact time or date, but when that time comes during the season, I will make my decision then."

Smith has already visited Auburn and Mississippi State prior to his trip to the Sunshine State's capital city. A trip remains for Miami (Fla.) and West Virginia.

While he tries to decide between all his options, Smith believes the coaching staff at the school he ends up with will be the difference.

"The coaches, that's the most important thing," he explained. "You have to build a relationship with the coaches that you are going to come in with and they are going to coach you up for the next two years. I don't have any time to sit back and be redshirted. I already have two years under my belt. I have to come in and just play."