Despite living just down the road from Neyland Stadium, it was Mississippi State that stole the show from Tennessee on Saturday for Devin Smith. The Bulldogs' win over the Vols was just part of it.
"The visit was great," said Smith, a quarterback from Knoxville (Tenn.) Grace, after his visit to Starkville this weekend. "[Head coach] Dan Mullen is a great coach and a better person. What stood out the most was the fans and the college football atmosphere.
"The coaches really care about the kids as if they were their own kids. It was just a great visit and I really hope to keep in touch with them over the years. I talked to the quarterback coach [Les Koenning] and he said he wants me to come throw for him and do an individual workout so he can get me a scholarship."
Smith doesn't have a scholarship offer yet but has seen strong interest from Tennessee, Duke, Mississippi State, Akron, Purdue, Nebraska, Dartmouth and Tulsa.
He said he plans to visit Nebraska, Akron and Tulsa soon. He also plans to visit Tennessee and Duke multiple times. So far, however, Mississippi State has made a strong impression.
"The biggest thing I'm looking for is the level of academics in the school and the facilities and coaches," Smith said. "Mississippi State offered all of those as a college."
Despite playing in a run-first, Wing-T offense, Smith has passed for 1,400 yards, 13 touchdowns and thrown just two interceptions. He has completed approximately 65-percent of his passes.