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Oakland's Josh Smith narrows choices to 5 schools

Patriot LB chosen for prestigious Nike camp


1:00 AM, Jun. 12, 2014 EDT

Oakland linebacker Josh Smith has narrowed his college choices to five schools. / HELEN COMER/DNJ file photo

MURFREESBORO — 

Josh Smith hasn't ruled out going to Vanderbilt.

In fact, it is in the Oakland High rising senior's current top five college choices.

However, if Smith eventually commits to Vanderbilt it won't be because that is where his older brother Emmanuel Smith chose to play.

"I know my brother is there," said the younger Smith. "He made his decision based on how he liked Vanderbilt.

"But I'm going to make my own decision. They don't have a leg up because he is there. I'm going to make my own decision based on if its the right place for me."

Emmanuel Smith is a 2014 Oakland graduate and Vanderbilt signee. He'll play safety for the Commodores in the fall.

Josh Smith, a 6-foot-3, 221-pound inside linebacker, said his top five choices currently include Kentucky, Ole Miss, Penn State, Purdue and Vanderbilt. Smith is the No. 11 ranked inside linebacker in the country according to 247 Sports and ninth-best college prospect in the state.

The younger Smith said he plans on studying biomechanical engineering. He said a good education is important to him, noting that he won't play football forever.

"Football will end one day," he said. "You can't tell when the day comes and your body won't let you play anymore."

The Oakland standout's offers include Alabama, Auburn, Duke, MTSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia.

The linebacker recorded 81 tackles as a junior with two forced fumbles.

Josh Smith is a four-star college prospect according to Rivals. He just returned from Baltimore where he participated in the 2014 Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour. Next month he will participate in The Opening -- an elite Nike camp held at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon from July 7-10 to the top 150 prospects in the country.

The linebacker said he may choose to announce his college commitment during The Opening. He has previously said he would commit before the start of the high school football season.

Currently, the Oakland football team has 10 players with Division I FBS or FCS scholarship offers. Eight of the 10 are rising seniors. Offensive lineman Jack Jones (6-5, 280, OL) is the lone senior to commit. Jones has committed to Tennessee.

Josh Smith is the first Rutherford County football player to be invited to the event. Former Brentwood Academy standout and Rutherford County resident Jalen Ramsey was invited to the event prior to his senior year.

"The top people in the nation go to this," Smith said. "I was blessed to get the opportunity to get an invitation. I competed my butt off at an Ohio camp to get this."

 

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