LB Rashawn Smith talks favorites, decision

HOOVER, Ala. -- Linebacker Rashawn Smith took the field Thursday night as Florence opened the season at Hoover in a jamboree game, but the three-star linebacker may not have been quite 100 percent as he continues to battle back from a knee injury he suffered earlier in the summer.

“Coming off the injury, I don’t want to make that an excuse, but I feel like I have a lot of room for improvement,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of things that I need to work on. I’m feeling much better than before. I don’t feel the pain much anymore.”

Smith suffered the injury during a camp at Mississippi State this summer, and he says recruiting has slowed down ever since.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound outside linebacker still has nine scholarship offers, and at this point, he’s favoring four schools from the SEC: Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

“Mississippi State has been going hard after me from the very beginning. They told me I was their No. 1 recruit, but I don’t know if that was true or not.

“Ole Miss has the opportunity to get on the field as a freshman and show my talents to the world early, rather than being redshirted.

“Vanderbilt, education wise, if you graduate from Vandy, you’re pretty much guaranteed a job anywhere you want.

“Arkansas is known for winning games. Out of all the schools that I’ve been offered by, I think Arkansas may be the biggest one when it comes to winning games.”

A decision may be on the horizon for Smith who said he wanted to get it out of the way early in the season before his team begins region play. Florence opens the regular season with Gadsden City next week.

“At the beginning of the summer, I said I would make that decision around the third or fourth game of the season, and I’m pretty sure I will,” he said. “I’ve got a lot to talk to with my dad and my mom to make sure I’m making the right decision.”