Georgia linebacker speaks to Florida a lot

Last week the Florida Gators spent a ton of time recruiting the talent rich state of Georgia looking for the next great football player from the Peach state during the evaluation period.

One prospect that received a visit from Florida was linebacker Austin Smith (6-3, 220, Buford, GA Buford High) who received a visit during spring practice but an injury cut his day short.

“Coach [D.J.] Durkin came by to watch me practice last week but I had rolled my ankle a little bit so I wasn’t able to do much,” Smith said. “When I heard he was coming though I decided to tape my ankle and do the fundy {fundamentals] drills but after that I came out of practice. It’s no big deal and I will be back at practice this week.”

Due to NCAA regulations Durkin was unable to speak at length with Smith during his in-school visit so Smith decided to call Durkin himself after the coach had left practice.

“I got the chance to talk to Coach Durkin later on that day and he told me that he will be back this Tuesday to watch me practice and hopes to see me out there,” Smith said. “When I talked to him he said that he was proud of the way I’m progressing and that he can’t wait for me to get back down there for another visit.”

The communication between Smith and Florida is at an all-time high right now as the two parties speak twice a week about what the Gators can do for Smith.

“I usually talk to Florida every Monday and Thursday,” Smith said. “I talk to Coach Durkin and to outside linebacker coach [Coleman] Hutzler. They both tell me that they love me and that they didn’t sign any linebackers in the Class of 2014 and that there’s an opening for me down there to come in and compete for a starting job.”

At one time Smith had Florida as his number one school but he says now he doesn’t have a leader in order to keep things running smooth.

“I don’t have any leaders right not because I’m just going to keep it calm,” Smith said. “I would say that Tennessee and Ohio State are recruiting me the hardest right now though. Florida and South Carolina are right behind those two schools.”

Despite the wishes of people around Smith, the Georgia linebacker wants to make an early decision so he can focus on his senior football season.

“I hope to make a decision either after the spring or sometime during the summer,” Smith said. “My coach wants me to wait until after I take all of my visits but the process is so stressful and I just want to focus on Buford.”

A visit to Florida this summer is something that Smith has planned before making his decision and he will also see two more top schools.

“I will definitely visit Florida in late June,” Smith said. “I will always have time to visit Gainesville but in early June I have to go to Tennessee and Ohio State.”

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.