Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy will be well represented at the Under Armour All-America Game in January, as six recruits from that school received their jerseys on Thursday afternoon, in a ceremony presented by American Family Insurance.
Outside linebacker Rahshaun Smith is one of the half-dozen recruits who will be at the game, as the 6-foot-3, 239-pound defender has adjusted quite well after moving from Maryland and enrolling at IMG. Smith, the nation's No. 26 prospect, was thinking about the past, present and future during his presentation.
"It's a dream come true," Smith said. "A lot of guys from back home don't get this opportunity, the chance to do the things I'm doing. You grow up watching these kinds of games and I'm definitely grateful for this."
The game will also mark a turning point in Smith's recruitment, as he plans to make a commitment during the event. Smith's recruitment has already been one to watch, as he committed to Clemson this past March before pulling back from that in April.
Smith took his first official visit this past weekend, as Oregon received the honors.
"It was definitely a good visit," Smith said. "Oregon was always my dream school growing up. The game didn't go the way I expected, but that's how it goes. We win some, we lose some. I definitely see a chance of me going out there."
Smith said he hit it off with Oregon linebacker commit Lamar Winston, as the Ducks are in desperate need of linebackers in this class and hosted at least four prospects at that position over the weekend.
"We've been talking on twitter," Smith said of Winston. "He's been telling me they have a need at linebacker and we could come in there and impact the program early."
Smith has his four other official visits set, as he'll be at LSU for the game against Florida, at Auburn for the Georgia game and will visit Clemson and Maryland following the season.
Seven questions with Rahshaun Smith
What is your earliest football memory?
"I think I was in fourth grade. I was playing Junior Pee Wee with one of my uncles back home. I was one of the biggest kids, but I was one of the softest. They used to run me over in practice. Everybody used to laugh at me. My mom used to make me hit a trash can back home. She was the one who taught me how to catch a football."
Who did you idolize growing up?
"Once I got to an age where I understood what football was, probably Cory Robinson (former IMG assistant coach and Maryland Director of Player Personnel). He's my mentor and been like my dad in my life."
If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be?
"Probably Floyd Mayweather."
What player are you most looking forward to playing with or against at the UA All-America Game?
"I'm definitely looking forward to playing with the guys at my school, Shavar Manuel, Savion Smith, Ricky Aguayo. Also Greg Little and guys like that."
If you could start a team with one prospect from the 2016 class, who would it be?
"I'm taking Shea Patterson. No doubt."
Why do you wear your number (5)?
"I just recently started wearing No. 5. It's a strong religious number, a symbol of God's grace. I'm a firm believer and grateful for everything God has done for me and will continue to do for me."
What is something people might not know about you?
"I like to sing a lot. If I'm bored and a song comes on that I know, I'm going to sing it."