Indiana Visit Gives Smith Clarity

Laray Smith

Brooklyn (N.Y.) Xaverian High running back Laray Smith has Indiana, Syracuse and Connecticut as his finalists. After his visit to Indiana this weekend, Smith said his recruitment is much more clear, and he spoke to FOXSportsNEXT about what that means.

Xaverian High (Brooklyn) running back Laray Smith couldn't imagine he would have such a good time on his visit to Indiana, let alone wind up going to school there.

Now, though, it looks like he will wind up with the Hoosiers.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Smith, who is also an accomplished track athlete, has the Hoosiers in front after his official visit, but he won't make a decision until signing day.

"It's looking like it's going to be Indiana," Smith said. "I just feel comfortable there. I feel like I could be that guy, but it's not just about being the guy. It's also about academics. I feel like they can help me and I can help them.

"I feel like they can develop me, and that's all that I ask other than graduation and getting my degree. I just want a chance to try for the NFL. After talking to coach (Kevin) Wilson, he told me he coached (NFL running back) Adrian Peterson for three years, so I'm pretty sure he knows about running backs."

Smith is also considering Syracuse and Connecticut, but he did not make an official visit to UConn and has not been to Syracuse since the coaching change last month.

"Indiana, I never thought I would feel comfortable there, but I felt cool," Smith said. "I felt like I fit in."

Smith is also a highly-ranked track athlete, with his marquee event being the 400 meters. He plans to run track in college, and he likes Indiana's program.

But the visit was more about getting to see the campus, meeting the staff and bonding with the players in the program.

"I learned a lot," Smith said. "Coming on the visit, I really wasn't expecting much, so I didn't have much expectation. But it's a really good program, the facilities are nice, the academics are really good. The professors care about you, I met the (academic) counselors and tutors, and the coaches are great. The players are really cool."

Smith also likes where the program is heading under Wilson's leadership.

"It's definitely a great team in the making in the Big Ten," Smith said. "They just need a couple of more tools to turn it around."

Oh, and another highlight of the trip?

Smith attended Indiana's win against top-ranked Michigan in basketball.

"I had a great time," he said. "It was crazy."

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