This has been the offseason of deception. Most notably, former Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton bolted for the Chicago Bears, and former UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich did the same, leaving for the Atlanta Falcons. Because of the whirlwind, four-star 2015 linebacker Roquan Smith (Montezuma, Ga.) will not be faxing in a national letter of intent to the school he chooses.
“He’s not going to sign a letter of intent,” Smith’s high school coach Larry Harold told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The reason why is because what he went through last week. This just gives us flexibility in case something else unexpectedly happens again.”
After committing to UCLA on National Signing Day, Smith received news that Ulbrich was heading to the Falcons. Because he had not yet faxed his letter of intent, Smith was left free to reopen his recruitment.
“I guess you’ll really be able to tell if a coach or college really wants a kid if they’ll agree to do this – letting a kid come to their campus this summer without signing an LOI,” Harold said.
As SB Nation’s Anthony Broome points out, there are two forms sent in on National Signing Day. The first is a set of scholarship papers, which binds the school to the player. The second is the actual letter of intent, which binds the player to the school. Smith’s plan makes him fair game to coaches and schools until he arrives on campus for the first day of classes.
Georgia, Michigan and Texas A&M are the frontrunners for Smith.
Tyler Fenwick is the managing editor of The Big House Report. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.