Three-star cornerback James Smith from St. John Bosco HS in Bellflower, CA signed his letter of intent to play for the Huskies. Smith’s calling card is his size. At 6’1, 180 lbs, he is the sort of rangy DB the Huskies like to use to match up against big receivers in man coverage. Smith is rated as the #810 recruit in the country by the 247Sports consensus and the #64 cornerback.
Smith had an interesting high school career. He saw limited playing time as a junior because his powerhouse high school had Oregon’s Chris Steele and UW’s Trent McDuffie ahead of him on the depth chart. The Husky coaching staff saw enough of Smith’s raw talent to offer him and add him into the class on July 28th after he completed an unofficial visit. Smith got an offer from Penn State early in the process and unofficially visited there, but it’s hard to say exactly how his recruitment would have shaped up due to his early commitment. Smith’s senior season left some unresolved questions. He still has the size and physicality that made him a target, but he also reportedly lost some playing time as the year went on. It’s certainly not going to be easier to get on the field in the Pac-12, so Smith will have his work cut out for him as he develops at the next level.
One of the reasons Jimmy Lake took over the program from Chris Petersen was his recruiting prowess, so it’s no surprise that his position group is loaded with talent. Myles Bryant graduates out of the secondary. Keith Taylor and Elijah Molden finished their junior seasons and have at least some chance to declare for the draft, though neither has done so at this point. Asa Turner and Cameron Williams saw significant playing time at safety. While the Husky coaches like players who can switch between positions, Smith likely profiles as more of a true CB. At that spot, he has the aforementioned McDuffie ahead of him, along with Taylor, Molden, Kyler Gordon, Dominique Hampton, Kamren Fabiculanan, and Julius Irvin. He will also have to compete with fellow 2020 commits Jacobe Covington, Elijah Jackson, and Markell Esteen. Like I said, it’s a loaded position group.
In addition to McDuffie, Bosco has sent Sean McGrew and Terrell Bynum to UW in recent years. It’s a perennial SoCal powerhouse and home to five-star QB and Clemson commit DJ Uiagalelei, so it’s a great place for the UW coaches to establish relationships.
Good luck to James and welcome to UW!