Jerod Smith, Wolverine

Jerod Smith, Wolverine

April 25, 2023
Jerod Smith (left, image via Twitter)

Cheshire (CT) Cheshire Academy defensive lineman Jerod Smith committed to Michigan on Tuesday evening. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Texas, among others.

Smith is listed at 6’3″ and 265 lbs. As a junior at Windsor (CT) Loomis Chaffee, he made 63 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 1 interception. He has a twin brother named Jacob, who is a defensive end prospect being pursued by an almost identical list of schools, including Michigan.

ESPN: 4-star, 82 grade, #9 DT, #169 overall
On3: 3-star, 88 grade, #50 DL
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #23 SDE
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #30 DL, #270 overall

Hit the jump for more.

Smith was offered by the Wolverines in January. It seemed as if things were trending toward Notre Dame, but for whatever reason, a recent visit to Ann Arbor seemed to swing things in Michigan’s direction. There are some rumors that Notre Dame cooled on Smith, but when similar things happen to Michigan targets, some people start to whisper that Michigan cooled on those prospects, too.

Smith is athletic for his size, and his coaches at Loomis Chaffee deployed him at linebacker at times. It’s rare for players to move back and forth from linebacker to defensive tackle, but that’s what happened. It reminds me a little bit of Alim McNeill, who played at North Carolina State before getting drafted by the Detroit Lions. McNeill was an oversized linebacker in high school who was clearly headed for the defensive line.

Unfortunately, Smith seems to have that disease that occasionally happens to high school prospects where they just appear to be invisible to opponents, so their highlight videos are filled with going completely unblocked before making plays in the backfield. It’s really difficult to gauge the technique of those prospects, because they don’t have to use technique.

Overall, Smith is a good athlete who does a nice job of moving laterally. He has good straight-line speed, and his agility and ability to play low should help him as he deals with moving to the defensive line. As expected for someone who hasn’t fully focused on playing defensive line, he will need to work on his hand placement, stance, footwork, etc. I think he will end up as a 3-tech/5-tech tweener, somewhat like Kris Jenkins, Jr.

Michigan now has 14 commits in the class of 2024. Smith joins Manuel Beigel and Ted Hammond as defensive line commits. The last player Michigan landed from Cheshire Academy was wide receiver Tarik Black in 2017. The Wolverines have a chance to land Jacob Smith, too, who is a 4-star, the #18 edge, and #207 overall.

TTB Rating: 82

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