Roquan Smith ends recruitment, chooses Georgia over UCLA, others


The recruiting saga of Roquan Smith, the 4-star linebacker out of Macon County, is seemingly coming to an end.

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Whether you want to call him groundbreaking, brave, or revolutionary, linebacker Roquan Smith has made his decision, and he will be attending the University of Georgia and playing football between the hedges with the Bulldogs.

According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith’s coach Larry Harold sent out a text message reporting the news to the schools still in the running to land Smith.

“The prodigal son stays home!” Harold said in the text message. “Roquan Smith signs grant-in-aid papers to attend UGA!”

The strange recruiting journey of Smith will certainly be something that will be talked about for some time, and could change how the best football prospects in the nation handle their recruitment. Smith will sign in grant-in-aid papers, which binds the school to Smith, but he will still refuse to sign a National Letter of Intent, which essentially means he is a free agent until he actually begins attending classes.

Harold says that Smith has completed his recruiting, so it would seem that short of another coaching change surprise coming out of Athens as it did at UCLA, Smith will officially become a Georgia recruit on the first day of summer classes.

The refusal to sign the Letter of Intent was not a planned strategy by Smith, but purely a move out of necessity. However, with the notoriety his situation has been given, more four and five-star players could opt to go the same route before they are nearly burned the way Smith was.

Georgia LB Target Roquan Smith

The situation unfolded when after committing to sign with UCLA on national television, it was revealed that the Bruins’ defensive coordinator, Jeff Ulbrich, was leaving the school to join the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff. According to Smith, Ulbrich told him prior to signing day that he had declined the offer from Atlanta.

Some players weren’t as lucky as Smith, having already sent in their signed letter before finding out a key coach was leaving the program. Many think it’s best for a player to look at an overall program rather than become attached to a coach who could leave at any time.

Smith’s commitment to Georgia adds another 4-star prospect to an already impressive defensive class, headlined by 5-star defensive tackle Trent Thompson. He will be the 29th member of the Georgia class of 2015.

Next: Looking Ahead to UGA's 2016 Class