The junior college ranks turn out exceptional talent each football recruiting season, and one of the schools leading that charge is nearby East Mississippi Community College. Just this season, the Bulldogs have received a commitment from 4* EMCC DB Justin Cox, and have recruited hard his teammate, 4* DE Za'Darius Smith.
Although Cox announced his intentions to attend MSU over a month ago, Smith has played his recruitment close to the chest right down until signing day. Well, signing day is here, and today we found out just where Mr. Smith has decided to play.
Confirmed: Za'Darius Smith has signed with the University of Kentucky. His mother just confirmed that he's faxed the LOI in with me.— Taylor Hamm (@TaylorHamm247) December 19, 2012
This decision comes absolutely out of left field for those who have followed Smith's recruitment. He was thought to be down to Mississippi State and Texas A&M, after his anticipated favorite, Auburn, did not offer him a scholarship. But, when you look at one of the hires that new Kentucky coach Mark Stoops made, then maybe the decision makes more sense. Stoops hired away former EMCC defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, and it can be deduced that Brumbaugh most likely recruited Smith hard to follow him to Lexington. And, by all appearances, that recruitment worked.
Smith has been a highly sought after prospect this year, and today chose the Wildcats over offers from Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Florida State, Texas, and many, many others.
Smith is originally from Greenville, Alabama. He attended Greenville High School, and signed with EMCC upon graduation. He will have two years of eligibility at BLANK.
East Mississippi DL Za'Darius Smith (via EMCCathletics)