Six more months was too long to wait for DeSean Smith.
There was a time when the Lake Charles Barbe tight end prospect planned on announcing his commitment at the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5. But Monday, he picked up the phone and called LSU coach Les Miles to let him know he was ready to commit to the Tigers in the middle of sizzling summer.
“I’ve been sitting here about a month now ready to make a decision,” Smith said. “It was a gut decision that I needed to do it. I’ve had an offer for a year, and two years is a long time to wait to make a commitment.
“He was speechless,” Smith said of Miles. “He said I made his day. That’s all I needed to hear.”
A four-star prospect across the board, Smith (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) becomes LSU’s 18th commitment for the Class of 2013. He follows closely on the heels of lifelong friend Melvin Jones (6-3, 245), himself a four-star linebacker prospect from Washington-Marion, as the Tigers’ second straight commitment from Lake Charles.
But it wasn’t Jones’ decision that prompted a commitment from Smith.
He said it was the sight of quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s passes filling the air over Tiger Stadium during the LSU Spring Game that had him convinced.
“The way LSU played in the spring game proved to me they could throw the ball,” Smith said.
LSU was one of 18 schools to offer scholarships to Smith, whose top three choices included Alabama and Florida. Other offers included Texas A&M, Auburn, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.
Smith now becomes one of the highest-rated players in the Tigers building recruiting class.
He is ranked No. 67 on the Rivals 100, No. 102 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247, No. 143 on the ESPN 300 and No. 232 on the Scout 300.
Smith is rated as the No. 2 prospect in Louisiana by Rivals, the No. 3 prospect in state by 24/7, and No. 5 in the state by ESPN.
Scout and ESPN do rate New Orleans Karr tight end Standish Dobard (6-4, 245), an early commitment to Miami, ahead of Smith in terms of in-state prospects. Rivals rates Smith behind only University High defensive end Tim Williams (6-4, 230).
Smith’s commitment has given a big boost to LSU’s national recruiting rankings.
According to 24/7 Sports, LSU now ranks No. 3 behind only Alabama and Michigan. Rivals now ranks LSU at No. 4 behind Michigan, Alabama and Texas A&M.
Scout and ESPN did not update their team rankings as of Monday evening. Scout had LSU ranked 13th with 17 commitments, while ESPN had the Tigers at No. 15 with 16 commitments.
Smith becomes the Tigers second-highest rated commitment behind offensive tackle Ethan Pocic (6-6, 285) of Lemont, Ill. Pocic is ranked No. 36 by Rivals, No. 58 by Scout, No. 75 by ESPN and No. 87 by 24/7 Sports.
Smith was recruited by new LSU wide receivers coach Adam Henry, a Beaumont, Texas, native who played at McNeese State.