The Wolverine

January 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2024 ❱ THE WOLVERINE 53 ❱  COMMIT PROFILE BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan has made five-star Bel- leville (Mich.) High prospect Bryce Underwood its top priority at the quarterback position in the 2025 re- cruiting cycle. However, the football program wasn't going to miss an opportunity to land one of the more intriguing signal-call- ers nationally. On300 Fort Myers (Fla.) Bishop Verot quarterback Carter Smith notched an offer from Michigan on an unofficial visit for the game against Purdue in November and committed to the Wolverines soon after. "I was trying to be patient through- out the recruiting process," Smith said. "I wanted the right school to click. I went up there for that Purdue game and was around for a couple of days. Being around the coaches and the people in the building, it just felt right. "There was no problem with Michi- gan. It had all the benefits I wanted. It just felt like the right place." Michigan quarterbacks coach Kirk Campbell flew out to Florida to see Smith throw earlier in the fall and made a push. U-M offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore was also heavily in- volved in his recruitment. "Coach Campbell is such a down- to-earth dude," Smith said. "I could sit down with him and have a conversation for hours and still have things to talk about. Being able to click with someone like that made my decision easier. "Coach Moore is awesome. He cares and is passionate about football and his players. That kind of thing really sat well with me. I love Coach Moore." Smith, who is ranked as the No. 8 quarterback and No. 112 overall pros- pect nationally next cycle by On3, had a prolific junior season, passing for 2,223 yards, rushing for 715 yards and being responsible for 48 total touchdowns en route to leading Bishop Verot to an 11-2 record. Michigan took a high-floor game manager in On300 quarterback Jadyn Davis in the 2024 recruiting class. Davis is accurate and efficient but needs to develop as a creator and runner. While Smith is more raw as a pure passer, he's a playmaker with his legs and offers an exciting ceiling. "He brings pure athleticism," Bishop Verot head coach Richie Rode said. "He's a mobile, athletic kid. Like any quarterback, there are always mechani- cal things to improve. Playing football and baseball for so long, there are some things he can clean up for sure. "His athleticism and just that natural innate ability to make plays stand out. He's extremely intelligent. He's a stu- dent of the game. He understands what he's doing and what a coach is trying to do. "He's played a number of high-level games going back to when he was a young kid. He made deep runs to Disney Nationals in Pop Warner football and started here as a freshman. "He's a film guy. He understands the game. He's like an outside linebacker or safety playing quarterback. He's physi- cal and tough." While Michigan will continue to pur- sue Underwood, Smith sees himself as "the man" at the quarterback position and is ready to be a vocal leader for U- M's 2025 recruiting class. In fact, Smith returned to Ann Arbor for Michigan's Nov. 25 win over rival Ohio State and spent plenty of time per- suading other recruits to join him. "We're going to put together a special class," Smith said. "I talked to [five-star safety] DJ Pickett a little bit. We grew up playing baseball together. "I'm just trying to start that Florida pipeline. Why not take home up north? I also talked to [On300 offensive line- man] Avery Gach and [top-100 line- backer] Elijah Melendez, who is pretty special. I'm taking a lot of pride in building a special group around me." ❑ Sunshine State QB Carter Smith Joins U-M's 2025 Class On3 ranks Smith as the No. 8 quarterback and No. 112 player overall in the 2025 class. PHOTO BY CHAD SIMMONS/ON3 PLAYER EVALUATION STRENGTHS: "I think he gives Michigan the quarterback they've had success with recently. He's certainly a guy the staff is high on as a take right now. It speaks volumes as to how they feel about his talent. "He's a guy who we like a good bit and has the making to be a very good college football player. He can stress defenses in multiple ways. When you look at the current landscape of college football and football in general, having a guy with that type of ability to pick up yards on the ground and throw at a very high level brings a lot of value to an offense." AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: "Continuing to develop technically as a passer. He has a good arm and a good foundation but needs to continue to work on his mechanics and spinning the ball. He's a very good high school player and a good athlete. He'll have to progress as a pure passer. But what I've seen so far is encouraging." PLAYER COMPARISON: "I see a lot of stylistic similarities between Carter and J.J. [McCarthy]. I would give McCarthy the edge in terms of arm talent. But the play style, athleticism and fit in Michigan's of- fense is very similar. "I can see Carter looking similar to how J.J. looks at Michigan because of the different things you can do with him. I think Carter brings the dimension that J.J. has added to Michigan as well." — On3 Director of Scouting and Rankings Charles Power ❱  Bishop Verot Head Coach Richie Rode "He's a film guy. He understands the game. He's like an outside linebacker or safety playing quarterback. He's physical and tough."

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