SI All-American Candidate Clayton Smith Highlights and Evaluation

Clayton Smith is an outside linebacker prospect from Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas. Smith is an SI All-American candidate.
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Prospect: Clayton Smith
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 220 pounds
Position: Outside Linebacker
School: Texarkana (Texas) Texas
Committed to: Oklahoma                                                                                      
Projected Position: Linebacker

Frame: Long, thick upper body with ample room to add muscle mass. Seems like arms hang near his knees. High waist tapers to well-defined, sinewy legs that go forever. Will easily add good weight at the next level. 

Athleticism: Excellent all-around athlete. Builds to impressive top speed in the open field. Consistently maintains balance through contact, even when cut by offensive lineman and backs. Not exceptionally quick in short spaces, but highly agile. Extremely productive receiver offensively, routinely winning jump balls. 

Instincts: Multiple-effort player. Always keeps eyes in the backfield. Patient yet decisive when reading mesh point as an unmanned defender with immediate turnover following play diagnosis. Keen ability to split double teams by narrowing shoulders. 

Polish: Deep bag of pass-rush moves: speed, long-arm, spin, swim, dip-rip and more. His inside move is especially devastating. Effectiveness at setting edge largely unknown though raw tools exist. Comfortable dropping into coverage from LOS. 

Bottom Line: Smith is blessed with a near-ideal box of tools for a modern-day edge rusher. Could significantly bulk up and be effective as a strong-side defensive end, but is likely best utilized as a hybrid “Jack” defender in Oklahoma’s multi-faceted scheme. His ceiling is a multi-year, impact starter with Sunday potential.