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Arkansas in mix for 4-star DL

By: Richard Davenport Richard Davenport's Twitter account
Published: Sunday, May 28, 2023
Arkansas defensive line coach Deke Adams and 2024 defensive lineman Nigel Smith II
Arkansas defensive line coach Deke Adams and 2024 defensive lineman Nigel Smith II

Consensus 4-star defensive lineman Nigel Smith II is planning to make a second trip to the University of Arkansas for an unofficial visit this summer.

Smith, 6-5, 260 pounds, of Melissa, Texas, narrowed his list of schools down to Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas A&M, Rutgers, Ohio State and Penn State on May 8.

While he’s set official visit dates for Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Ohio State and Penn State, Smith said the Hogs are still in the running for him.

“They’re definitely still in the mix, top-eight wise,” said Smith, who visited the Hogs for the Alabama game last season. “I plan to visit unofficially, unless I can get an official in.”

Smith said he and Arkansas defensive line coach Deke Adams are working on a date for him to visit again.

“I really don’t have a certain date, we’re just talking,” Smith said. “I want to make sure to get back up there for an unofficial because they’re still a school I’m considering very highly and I want to make sure I give everybody a chance to do everything right with this recruiting process.”

Smith recorded 103 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles while returning one for a score as a junior.

As a sophomore, Smith was an unanimous selection the District 7-4A-I Defensive Lineman of the Year after having 66 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

ESPN rates him as a 4-star prospect, the No. 17 defensive end and No. 107 overall recruit in the nation for the 2024 class. He’s the No. 20 recruit in Texas.

He explained his desire to get back to Fayetteville.

“The school itself, I love the campus,” Smith said. “It’s one of the best campuses that I’ve been to. The fan base, Coach [Sam] Pittman is a really, really good coach and a great guy and great person in general. I feel like he will develop me to be a great athlete and a defensive end.”

Smith, who has a 3.7 grade-point average, doesn’t appears to be done growing. His father, Nigel Smith Sr., was a center for the SMU basketball team in 1998-2003 and was listed at 6-10 and 275 pounds as a senior.

His relationship with Adams is motivating factor for Smith wanting to visit the Razorbacks.

“It’s a very good relationship,” Smith said. “I also like him as a person. Some coaches I strictly see as a coach out there in college football. I feel like he’ll develop me not only as a player but as a young man. That’s one reason why Arkansas is on my list.”


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