Every Friday, SEC Country will introduce a lesser-known recruit in the Southeast as part of a weekly spotlight series. This week’s Friday Night Spotlight is on Ny’J Smith, a wide receiver out of Jackson High School in Jackson, Ga.
- Name: Ny’J Smith
- High School: Jackson High School
- Position: WR
- Ranking: Unranked
- Offers: Duke, Charleston Southern, Presbyterian College, UCF, Furman and FAMU
- Class: 2016
Ny’J Smith (pronounced Nigh-Jay) flashed his speed, hands and uncanny ability to make plays in a big game for Jackson (Ga.) High School last weekend.
The senior receiver was double-teamed often, but still managed to haul in a 70-yard touchdown reception en route to a five-catch, 150-yard performance in a 31-29 victory over previously undefeated Westside.
“He looked like the best athlete on the field,” Jackson coach Dary Myricks told the AJC’s SEC Country.
That is stout praise for Smith considering his teammate, Michail Carter, is one of the top prospects in all of Georgia. Carter is a 4-star defensive tackle who boasts 12 offers and reportedly has UGA and Alabama among his leaders.
But unlike Carter, Smith isn’t as highly sought after. In fact, he isn’t even ranked by recruiting websites. He holds offers from Duke, UCF, and Furman, among other smaller programs.
“I don’t think my name is big enough yet,” Smith said. “I feel underrated. I feel like I can be more than what I am right now. I just want to be known.”
So, what gives?
“Coaches look at his frame,” Myricks said. “He’s 6-foot-2 and he’s real slender. Everybody loves the skill set: the route running and the hands. But the major thing people are looking at is how much weight can he put on.”
But Smith plays bigger than what his frame suggests. His coaches praise his catching ability and his deceptive quickness. He’s recorded just over 200 yards and five touchdowns on the year, despite playing in a Wing-T offense.
“He’s a real smooth football player,” Myricks said. “He’s one of those tall, lanky kids. He’s fast. You don’t know how fast he is until he runs by you.”
Myricks has been at Jackson for several years. He said he and his staff have learned over time that some kids just have it — Smith is one of them.
He’s been a key cog for Jackson on both offense and defense since his freshman year. Myricks can recall a time when the then-ninth grader hauled in a game-winning touchdown. Since then, he’s made play after play. Last year, Smith recorded a team-high six interceptions for the Red Devils at the free safety position.
And he’s certainly off to a good senior campaign, too, as schools have begun to take notice.
“It’s been crazy,” Smith said. “A lot of people keep asking me where I’m going and a couple of smaller schools offered. It’s not stressful, it’s just a little bit of work.”
Charleston Southern, Presbyterian College and FAMU round out the list of schools that have offered. Myricks said Louisville and Georgia Southern have shown some interest, too.
Over the summer, Smith visited Georgia Tech and Duke for camps. He took an unofficial visit to Furman last Saturday, and he’s scheduled to visit Georgia Southern or Presbyterian next weekend.
According to his coach, though, Duke appears to be a good fit given the offense it runs. But Myricks maintained that he doesn’t want Smith to go overlooked.
“I’d hate for anybody who needs a really good receiver to miss on him.”