When Joe Cox was the receivers coach at USC, he offered 2022 WR CJ Smith (6-3 180) of Orlando. When Justin Stepp was the receivers coach at Arkansas, he also offered Smith. Stepp, of course, replaced Cox at USC on the new Shane Beamer staff. He apparently brought his notes with him from Fayetteville. Tuesday he contacted Smith and made sure that he knew his offer from the Gamecocks was still on the table.
“The one who I mainly kept in contact with was the new wide receiver coach, coach (Justin) Stepp,” Smith said. “He was one of the coaches who recruited me to Arkansas and got me the Arkansas offer. We kept in close contact when he moved to South Carolina. We’ve been talking a lot. He called me the other day and basically said the same thing he said when they offered me for Arkansas. They love my size. They love my speed. They love my ability to make plays.”
Smith said Stepp has also given him an idea of how he would be used in the Gamecock offense.
“They would use me outside and have me, as he said, burn the defender and basically make big plays,” said Smith, a speedster with a 10.9 100 meters time.
Next in the recruiting process with the Gamecocks, Smith said, is getting more information on the program and a Zoom session with the coaches.
“They are going to send me a couple of videos about their new facilities, and the new schemes that would best fit me, and I would best fit them,” Smith said. “We’re planning on doing a Zoom session either this weekend or the next weekend.”
Along with USC and Arkansas, Smith also has offers from Florida State, Boston College and BYU. The two SEC offers. though, hold particular appeal to him.
“It would be an exciting experience,” Smith said. “It would be an honor. It’s one of the best conferences with the best competition. I’m still wide open. I still have a lot of decision making to do. Over the summer, that’s when I’ll really sit down with my parents and talk things over.”
In five games reported to MaxPreps, Smith caught 23 passes for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns. He averaged nearly 16 yards per catch.