BRADENTON, Fla. -- It was easy to see why four-star tight end DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) is the No. 4 rated tight end in the country at the IMG Madden 7-on-7 National Championships on Saturday. Smith opened up the day with a long 30-yard touchdown catch in the first game and never looked back. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete finished with several big plays on the day.
To no one's surprise, the home-state LSU Tigers have always been considered a favorite for the talented tight end, but another team is making a strong push for his services -- the Florida Gators.
"They are recruiting me hard," Smith said. "They are one of the top teams on my list. As of now I'd say LSU and Florida are at the top for me. Coach [Derek] Lewis is doing a great job recruiting me. They respect me and I respect them. As of now it's close. Florida is in it real big -- it's going to be a hard decision."
The No. 143 player in the ESPN 150 said he was surprised with what LSU showed him when he visited Baton Rouge for their spring game.
"I loved the way they surprised me at the spring game," Smith said. "They threw the ball excellent and that's what surprised me the most when I was there."
Smith, who will make his decision at the U.S. Army Bowl in January, says that leaving home would be difficult, but that he looks as college as a life-long opportunity.
"It's going to be hard, but at the same time I want to look at other options than just staying at home. I want to major in criminal justice, which you can really find anywhere, but this will be a decision with me that will stay with me for the next 40 years.
"It's going to come down with how they do this year, how are they producing on the field. It's going to come down to the offense and what quarterbacks they got coming in."