It's now officially getting ridiculous. UCLA is having a signing day usually reserved for their rival across town. While USC looks good to land the local talent later today, the Bruins have been cleaning up with big time out of state commitments.
The latest is linebacker Roquan Smith out of Georgia. What kind of player are the Bruins getting in Smith?
(Well, I guess announcing on ESPNU didn't count because it's not official to UCLA yet.)
BREAKING: Despite announcing his commitment to #UCLA, 4* LB Roquan Smith tells me he has not reached final decision, has not signed LOI.— Jake Reuse (@ReuseRecruiting) February 4, 2015
Roquan Smith - 4 star linebacker
The biggest question with Smith has to do with his size. If he is going to play as an inside backer for UCLA, he has to add weight. The rest of his game though, he supplies more than enough answers.
He's an elite athlete at the position with the way he can play sideline to sideline and how fluidly he adjusts in coverage. He can drop his hips and explode to the football incredibly well and he has phenomenal ball skills. He not only finishes plays with interceptions, but he can take it back to the house after. I don't think there is a better linebacker in coverage in this entire recruiting class.
He's strong tackler that hits through people. With his size, you wouldn't expect him to be as physical as he is, but he can bring the wood and doesn't just run around blocks. He fights through them to get to the football.
He's also an exceptional blitzer that has a knack for timing up the snap count. Even if Smith isn't a player who can come in and be a starter right away because of his size, he should at the very least be in the mix to play as a nickel linebacker because of how great he is in coverage and as a blitzer.