Clayton Smith, a 2021 four-star outside linebacker out of Texarkana, Texas has been on the Tigers radar for a while now. Smith picked up an offer from LSU the spring leading into his junior season, becoming just the sixth school to offer the talented pass rusher.
That summer, Smith attended LSU's camp in late June and turned in a phenomenal junior year, racking up 20 sacks in total. As a result, the floodgates have opened up on his recruitment in 2020 as Smith now sits with over 20 Division I scholarship offers.
But the offers aren't what fuels Smith, it's improving on the astronomical numbers he put up in his junior year with an even better season season.
"I feel like I have a very versatile game and from the outside looking in, I hear that a lot too," Smith said. "I feel like my pass rush ability, my athleticism and my motor are my top components. I had 20 sacks this past year, next year I want 30."
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound edge rusher says he plans on announcing a commitment at the All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 9 but said by then, the school he will be committing to will have already been told. In the meantime, Smith said he has visits lined up with Oregon and OU and plans to set one up with LSU once recruiting trips are opened back up.
"We are still going to make a visit happen, but just after all of the stuff with the virus blows over," Smith said.
Throughout his recruitment, Smith has primarily dealt with defensive line coach Dennis Johnson but now that he's off to Baylor, will likely be communicating with coach Bill Johnson in the future. Smith did say that it's been a while since he's spoken with coach Ed Orgeron, but in previous talks with the Tigers' leading man, Orgeron loves Smith's talent.
"He has told me he loves how I get to the QB and that my role as a pass rusher is the most important on the field," Smith said.
Smith declined to provide a list of schools that he is considering attending but did say that having the chance to go to a school with a rich defensive background like LSU would be a great opportunity.
"Playing for a fan base that strong and for a program that has produced so many great defensive players would be amazing," Smith said.