It took a little longer than originally planned but Wednesday afternoon Wando WR OrTre Smith released the names of the five schools he will consider between now and his announcement date of September 11th, his birthday. Those five are USC, Clemson, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia and they are ranked in any order.
Smith has visited all five of the schools and in fact has been to USC and Clemson multiple times. This month alone he made trips to Georgia, USC, Clemson and North Carolina. He was expected to release his top five list a couple of other times earlier this month but needed more time to decide on the five.
Smith has stayed away from identifying a leader thru the process. Because his mother was an athlete at Clemson, it was widely assumed the Tigers would have the upper hand and the Tigers appeared to be the frontrunners early on. But there was a period of time Clemson stopped communicating with Smith, something his mother and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney both have acknowledged, and that allowed the others, in particular USC, to gain a foothold with his recruiting.
USC coach Will Muschamp has told Smith repeatedly, as reported by Smith’s mother, that he is a high priority target for the Gamecocks and has made it no secret to him how much he wants him in the program.
A key part of the final decision will be academics. Smith’s mother, who joined him on all the visits except North Carolina, has made education a benchmark of the recruiting process for her son. She has asked each head coach for assurance that her son will get his degree and she has to be satisfied that her son will be taken care of by the program he chooses.