Georgia was the first school to offer four-star defensive end Nolan Smith last spring, and he has been high on the Bulldogs since. The native of Savannah, Ga., and current Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout committed to Georgia in January.
“I really love the coaches,” Smith told The Clemson Insider. “They believed in me from the start of my recruiting and the start of my growth as a player.”
While Smith is a solid verbal and carrying the banner for Georgia’s class of 2019, he has been forthcoming with Georgia and other schools recruiting him, letting them know his recruitment remains open. He said so publicly, as well, when announcing his commitment:
Only a sophomore, Smith wants to continue accepting offers, taking visits and seeing the process through instead of shutting things down this early.
So, after receiving an offer from Clemson this week, Smith intends to give Clemson a good look. He said he will certainly consider Clemson and visit sometime this summer.
“Most definitely,” Smith said. “The offer means a lot coming from a natty-winning caliber type of team.”
“I like the culture and the type of coaches and the type of people that are around Clemson,” he added.
Smith, who is ranked as a top-five prospect in the 2019 class regardless of position, said Clemson began showing interest upon his transfer from Calvary Day (Savannah) to IMG in January.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables visited IMG on Monday before offering Smith over the phone last night.
“Coach Venables said he just liked my attitude and liked that I can chase down the ball,” Smith said. “Coach Venables said he could use me in a lot of schemes.”
Aiding Clemson’s appeal to Smith is his relationship with Clemson tight end Milan Richard, who also hails from Savannah.
“I know Milan really well,” Smith said. “Every time he comes to town we work out together, and when I go to Clemson or go to the South Carolina area, I meet up with him. He’s like a big brother to me.”
As Clemson recruits Smith, so will 2018 commitments Mike Jones and Xavier Thomas, two of his teammates at IMG.
Jones has already been in Smith’s ear about Clemson.
“I was walking out to the cafeteria, and Mike was talking stuff already,” Smith said, laughing. “He walked up to me and said what’s up Clemson commit. He’s a hilarious type of guy.”