UofL Football’s linebacking corps got a huge boost today with the commitment of 3 Star Loganville, GA OLB Allen Smith.
— Allen♏️ (@allennnnnnnnn4) January 20, 2019
The 6’3 205 lbs Smith chose UofL over offers from North Carolina, Oregon, Nebraska, Iowa State, and Cincinnati, among others. Cort Dennison was his lead recruiter at UofL according to 247sports.
In reviewing his Hudl highlights, Smith is a versatile OLB. He possesses speed, a keen eye for reading plays, and can cover slot receivers. Here is my breakdown of his game.
Smith is a very fast OLB. He can cover a ton of ground sideline to sideline. It allows him to be able to pursue plays that may not even be in his zone of responsibility. He is a strong blitzer as well. Often flying right past OTs and TEs to run down QBs and sack them. It also allows him to play excellent coverage against RBs, TEs, and slot receivers.
For being an OLB, he has the coverage skills of a DB. Many of his highlights have him one on one in coverage against slot receivers. He is very fluid in his movement and, with his size, is able to press off the line of scrimmage and disrupt routes. Smith is a threat to break up a pass or intercept it. Normally, an opposing offense would salivate over having a small, shifty slot receiver on an OLB, but with Smith the offensive advantage is negligible. In all honesty, he could easily play S. This ability should make him an every down LB for Coach Satterfield.
Smith shows the ability to recognize a play and then make the correct decision. In one highlight, he is in coverage and immediately recognizes it’s a run play; Smith is able to break off his coverage responsibility and make the tackle on the RB. He’s also had the ability to break off of his primary coverage when he recognizes where a pass is going and go make tackles. For instance, a couple of times, he had coverage on a slot receiver, but saw the pass was going to the flat or going to a receiver on a shallow cross. Smith was able to utilize his speed and make a tackle before the receiver could gain many yards after the catch.
Smith is a sure tackler. Once he gets his hands on a ball carrier, they go down. He wraps up and he’s also proven to be a good tackler in space which this UofL defense needs.
Smith is the second commitment for this new coaching staff in this late period. He will give Coach Satterfield, Coach Bryan Brown, and Coach Cort Dennison a versatile LB that they can use in a variety of ways. With college football going more with no huddle, quick pace offenses, having a OLB that can cover, blitz, and cover the field sideline to sideline is highly valuable; this is exactly what Smith can provide. UofL got themselves a LB with a ton of potential and with the coaching staff Smith has around him, I expect him to reach it.