LHS senior OL Noah Smith’s recruiting process ‘reignited’ with latest Division I offer

photo by: Chance Parker

Lawrence offensive tackle Noah Smith is selected sixth overall in the 2021 Lawrence High Summer Showcase Draft at 23rd Street Brewery Monday, June 21, 2021.

Fresh off a busy June, Lawrence High senior Noah Smith received a scholarship offer from Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday to rejuvenate his recruiting situation.

It was the first offer of the summer for Smith, who was contacted by the other schools on his college list this past spring. Smith, a 6-foot-4 and 295 pound offensive lineman, now has offers from South Dakota, Dartmouth, Middle Tennessee State, North Texas and SEMO.

“I had a pretty big spring, but in June I didn’t have the same kind of rolling with offers,” Smith said. “Which was perfectly fine. I kept my head down and did everything I needed to. But (the SEMO offer) just kind of reignited my recruiting, making sure I’m out there again getting offers.”

Smith plans to take a visit to Southeast Missouri State on July 17. The Redhawks have been interested in Smith for a bit, but were dealing with coaching turnover before recently naming Cooper Bassett as the new offensive line coach.

After that was settled, Nate Dreiling, the defensive run game coordinator and inside linebackers coach for SEMO, called up Smith to offer him.

“Basically what they told me was they watched my film and they were like, ‘Yeah, we need to be all in on this guy,'” Smith said. “Coach Dreiling called me that night, after I had been at the lake, and offered me. So that was a great first impression.”

It was especially gratifying for Smith after all the hard work he put into being seen in June.

Smith attended five different camps last month, starting with an event at Tulsa on the first Saturday of June. He then hit up a trio of camps at Big 12 programs, competing at Iowa State on June 9, at the University of Kansas on June 15, and at Kansas State on June 20.

The month was then capped off by Smith showcasing his talents at a Sharp Performance event in Salina on June 28. He competed against plenty of the top players in the state in front of the media and coaches. Smith took his first unofficial visit to South Dakota last month as well.

“We missed an entire year and a pretty big year of recruiting for our class,” Smith said. “So I had to get in front of coaches and make them see me instead of just going through social media. I feel like I did that.”

Not only did it potentially help Smith get on the radar, but the camps served as an opportunity to see how he stacks up against other talented recruits.

Smith, who is viewed as an interior offensive line prospect at the next level, now knows that he needs to work on speed and keeping his pad level low at all times. He was even able to showcase his strengths as a player, such as his size, play strength and his heavy hands at the point of attack.

“It really showed me where I’m at as far as prospects around the country,” Smith said. “I have things I need to work on, and things that I still need to show during the fall season.”

While all the camps were important, Smith really enjoyed his time at the KU camp in particular. Since there weren’t as many players at that camp, Smith got some one-on-one time with Kansas offensive line coach Scott Fuchs. They talked about how Smith can improve his technique as a blocker.

“Just making sure my hips shoot through,” Smith said of what he learned. “That’ll translate more into run blocking and being able to get guys moving vertically.”

It all should pay dividends for Smith as he enters a pivotal point in his football career.

Smith has had aspirations of playing Division I football since his freshman year. He has been the starting left tackle for the Lions over the last two seasons, in which they have posted a 17-3 record over that span.

Smith will hold down the left tackle position again in 2021 under first-year head coach Clint Bowen, who was a member of the coaching staff at KU for over two decades. Smith’s main priority is for the team to win a state title, but he does hope to end his career on a high note at an individual level.

“I want to be first team All-State, first team all-area, and be committed to a DI university,” Smith said.

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