With the 2018 class wrapped up and in the rearview mirror, many may not remember the discontent over Tech’s inability to land its first commit until June. That won’t be the case this year. Just weeks after national signing day, Tech landed its first commit for the 2019 class, Safety Jeremiah Smith out of 7A powerhouse Grayson High School.
I’m truly blessed to say that I will be continuing my education and football career at Georgia Tech. First I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity. Thank you to everyone that helped me along this journey. #WreckATL #TogetherWeSwarm pic.twitter.com/7lNTKLt0yN— Jsmith (@thejsmith23) February 22, 2018
Smith committed to Tech over a host of Power 5 offers, including West Virginia, Mississippi State, Wake Forest, Pitt, Oregon State, and Iowa State. Also of note, this is new safeties coach Shiel Wood’s first commit. After serving as the recruiting coordinator at Wofford, Wood has made his presence felt early on this staff.
Smith is a long, fluid athlete, and will continue Georgia Tech’s trend of recruiting these types of players over the past few cycles. An emphasis on length and bend has arisen out of a need to defend the modern spread offense. Players need to be able to play in space, and length and fluidity are essential to that end.
Smith doesn’t possess elite explosiveness, but he does well in deep coverage thanks to strong ball-tracking and play-reading skills. He reacts quickly to the play to close off separation and plays the ball fairly well.
Smith is a patient tackler in run support, making sure he gets the tackle instead of going for the big hit. He sometimes overruns the play on the sideline, but has shown he can recover to make the tackle. I’d like to see a little more downhill aggression, but that’s likely been coached into him. The Georgia Tech coaches will be able to coach him to be more aggressive if they need to.
Overall, Smith has a good frame to work with, and could add more mass over time. He’ll likely stick at safety instead of moving to the LB level, and will have the potential to contribute early, coming from a powerful high school program.