June 11, 2008

2010 safety is ready to explode

Tattnall Square Academy is a small school in Macon (Ga.) and not too many high level Division I recruits have come out of there, but one could be on his way. 2010 safety DeAndre Smelter jolted onto the scene last season and he looks to be a lock for ACC and SEC offers in the near future.

"I think I am more of a balanced safety," said Smelter. "I can come up and make the big hit, but I can also make a play on the ball and get the interception. I think I can play the run and pass pretty well."

Smelter is not just an athlete running around on the football field, but he plays with intelligence as well.

"I think I have good field knowledge and I think that could be my biggest strength."

"I read the quarterback's eyes pretty good, I am a good tackler, and I can make interceptions too."

The middle Georgia safety is almost 6-foot-3 and he weighs around 210-pounds. The rising junior likes big safeties and the late Sean Taylor was someone he watched closely in the NFL.

"I really liked watching him play because he was a big safety that could hit hard and he could pick anything off. I liked the way he played and he is a guy I think I could compare to."

Taylor was a star in high school like Smelter and then he came out as one of the top safeties in the country. Tattnall Square's head coach Barney Hester thinks his star player could be on that level in a couple of years.

"By the time he is a senior, if he is not the top safety in the country, then he will be in the top five," he said.

He has been coaching at Tattnall Square Academy for 26 years and he has won 10 State Championships. Before that he coached at Georgia Southern, so he has been around the game for a while and he has seen a lot of talent.

Coach Hester thinks Smelter is one of the best he has seen.

"There is no doubt he is on top of the list," Coach Hester said when asked about how he stacked up against his former prospects.

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