Our first offensive skill player highlighted in our “Meet the Freshman” series is A-Back Dontae Smith out of Spring Hill, Tennessee.
A running back with tremendous speed, Spring Hill, Tennessee native Dontae Smith enters Georgia Tech as the Jackets highest rated offensive skill position player. The three-star recruit was ranked as the 21st best all-purpose back in the country and the 24th best player in the state of Tennessee.
Being designated as an “all-purpose back” means that Smith enters Tech as a strong all-around running back who can excel in the run game, passing game, and to a point, blocking. In Paul Johnson’s offense, a running back who can be strong in all three of those facets is always a welcomed addition. Of course, in the Yellow Jackets system those players are often designated more towards A-Back while B-Backs are your more traditional “power” running backs.
When the Yellow Jackets offered the Tennessee native last cycle, it did not take long for Smith to commit to the program. The three-star running back decided to commit to the Yellow Jackets on the spot when he received an offer from Paul Johnson and his primary recruiter Andy McCollum.
Smith’s recruitment didn’t necessarily finish after his commitment but with the Yellow Jackets tight space at running back last cycle, Smith had to get his spot in the class. The Mr. Tennessee football finalist also was gaining interest from several notable programs during his recruitment including Notre Dame and South Carolina.
What to Expect in 2018 and Beyond:
With a loaded backfield with plenty of veterans returning at the a-back postition, Smith is most likely looking at a redshirt season in 2018. While the coaching staff may look to get Smith in for a few snaps, it does seem unlikely that he will play enough to not qualify for a redshirt.
Long term, the Jackets have a dynamic weapon in Smith who will be great in both the rushing and passing game for the program. With blazing speed, Smith should be a tremendous asset for the Yellow Jackets once he sees consistent playing time. Highly comparable in my mind to Qua Searcy, the Jackets coaching staff and fans should be highly excited about Smith’s future on The Flats.