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April 30, 2011
Tigers take the lead for elite Georgia CB
Atlanta (Ga.) St. Pius X School cornerback Geno Smith has not been to Auburn since last fall, when the Tigers beat Georgia to win the SEC West. Since then, Smith has made a number of visits, and recently had named a top three of Alabama, Florida State, and Tennessee.
On Saturday, all that changed.
The 6-foot, 175-pound elite prospect was in Auburn on Saturday, and left with a new number one team.
"The visit was great, I enjoyed it a lot," Smith said. "I got a bunch of one-on-one time with the coaches, it was amazing.
"Auburn is definitely at the top right now, this visit did a lot. Auburn is definitely my number one, and it will be hard for me to find a number two because I'm definitely liking Auburn, this visit changed a lot."
Smith's last visit was a big recruiting weekend for the Tigers, hosting a large number of top prospects when the Tigers hosted Georgia. While many times the sheer number of prospects can limit the time spent with coaches, this time was different for Smith.
"The difference was I got more one-on-one time with the coaches," Smith said. "I just had an hour meeting with coach (Gene) Chizik and coach Trooper (Taylor), got to sit with coach (Ted) Roof, coach (Philip) Lolley, just go over schemes and coverages."
Smith said he had been trying to get around to a number of different places in the spring, and the fact that he had not visited Auburn in months was not indicative of where the Tigers stood.
There is no denying though, that this visit to Auburn gave Smith a new outlook on the Tigers program.
"This time was completely different, I just felt the love," Smith said. "I just felt like I'm a number one priority for them. I got the chance to talk about more things than football, life after football, hang out with the players and see how I fit in with them. A lot of questions were answered and a lot was made up today."
Another factor playing a part in Smith's recent feeling regarding Auburn, is the Tigers' newest All-American quarterback commit, Zeke Pike. Pike has been in touch with Smith, and is recruiting the talented corner hard to join him amongst the Tigers' 2012 recruiting class.
Smith and Pike are no strangers, and Smith said the possibility of playing with Pike, and other top prospects, is appealing to him.
"Since Cam left, they are still getting those mobile quarterbacks and trying to get the best players in the country," Smith said. "I want to be around the best, I want to compete with the best, so that's great.
"Me and Zeke met the first time last year at the Auburn camp, and recently we were talking, and since he committed he's been on me every day."
With all top prospects, playing time is important, and it is no different with Smith. Auburn has lost three players from their secondary since their BCS national championship game, and the chance to play early certainly is a factor.
"Everybody wants to play early and Auburn is a great situation for me because they are low on corners," Smith said. "Me going here, if I did commit, would be good for me."
As far as Smith's decision process, he maintains he is in no hurry. While Auburn is his new leader, Smith would still like to enjoy his senior season and take his official visits in the fall, but will not count anything out on the possibility of making an early decision either.
One thing is for certain, Smith will not take as long to return to Auburn as he did in the fall, as he plans to return very soon.
"I still want to play everything out and make sure I'm making the right choice, so I still want to take my officials, but you never know," said Smith.
"I plan on coming back down for Big Cat. I heard it's off the chain, top 20 players around the country, I look forward to it."