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2021 Recruiting Spotlight: 4-star ATH Chase Smith

A UM legacy, Smith fits in perfectly to Manny Diaz’s defense

247 Sports

I continue looking at the 2021 recruiting targets for the Miami Hurricanes, and today I'm focusing on 4-star ATH Chase Smith out of Bayside High School, in Palm Bay, Florida.

The first thing to note about Smith is that he’s a Miami legacy. His father, Willie Smith, was one of the first great tight ends for the Hurricanes. Playing for Jimmy Johnson, Smith was a consensus All-American in 1985.

Chase is a player who I only recently started to do some research on, and it took me about 5 minutes to realize what a special talent he is.

On the field, Smith plays both sides of the ball, wide receiver on offense and linebacker on defense. As a WR in 2019, Smith had 50 receptions, 716 yards and 7 touchdowns. Then on defense, he had 72 tackles, 18 TFLs, 4 sacks and 4 interceptions. Smith earned Player of the Year honors in his district last season.

247 Sports has Smith listed as the #12 ATH in the 2021 class, #31 player in the state of Florida, and #222 player nationally for the cycle. Smith was offered by Miami back in January.

While he has great skills at receiver, I see Smith playing defense once he reaches the college level, and I think he can be a home-run at the striker position for the Hurricanes.

Manny Diaz implemented the striker to the Canes defense prior to the 2018 season, and is a mix of linebacker and safety. At 6-3, Smith has the height desired for the position, and a David Feeley strength and conditioning program will help add size to Smith’s 190 pound frame. To give you an idea, Miami’s strikers on the roster right now are Gilbert Frierson and Keontra Smith. Frierson is 6-1 205, and Smith is 5-11 215.

While he has the frame normally seen in a safety, Smith’s skill-set is more of a linebacker, excelling when playing close to the line of scrimmage. Miami is starting to add more athleticism to their linebackers and defense as a whole, with guys like Sam Brooks Jr. and Avery Huff, and Smith’s speed and agility makes him a great fit in a modern day defense.

In coverage, Smith has what it takes to play in Miami’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme, defending well against quick passes. Then when it comes to tackling, Smith’s toughness and ability to fly to the football allows him to swarm offensive players and make plays in the backfield.

For a high school linebacker, Smith can change directions at an elite level, and is a nightmare for opposing offenses. With tremendous hands and ball skills due to playing receiver, Smith can be the ultimate ballhawk for the Canes defense, and his speed makes him a threat in blitzing situations as well.

Because he has played offense and defense, Smith is one of the most versatile players in the entire country, and while I see him at striker, he can easily line up in a traditional linebacker or safety spot if he needs to.

Smith has attended camps at Miami, but hasn’t made an official visit to UM yet, or really any school for that matter. With only a few spots remaining for their 2021 class, I'd absolutely love to see Smith on the Hurricanes, and I think Miami could be the team to beat at the moment. Add him to my recruiting wishlist.