The Early Signing Period is here at last! AZ Desert Swarm has you covered and will be bringing you analysis of the signees throughout the rest of the week.
Let’s take a closer look at 3-star safety signee Genesis Smith.
One thing is becoming blatantly clear after the last two recruiting classes: Arizona’s defensive backfield is going to look VERY different than anything Wildcat fans are used to. That’s not just taking into account the size and length of the players, but the overall talent level. Genesis Smith fits right into that wave of change perfectly.
Smith is long and rangy, sitting at about 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. He has the wingspan to go along with that size and uses both to great effect, getting his hands up regularly to swat balls or disrupt the catch.
What’s more, Smith has good speed. He closes quickly on the ball carrier and hits them with quit a lot of power. It is safe to say that Smith really likes contact, and that’s exactly what is needed. Back to his speed, on multiple occasions, Smith covers a lot of ground in a hurry, flashing across the screen as a blur as he plows into the opposing player vigorously.
All of that speed would go to waste without a high football IQ, play recognition, and vision...all three traits that Smith has. He can quickly dissect a play and react in a flash to make the tackle or disrupt the play in some way.
Again, all the recognition and reaction would be useless without Smith’s most impressive attribute, his fluidity. Smith’s movements are smooth and he has great body control. His footwork is excellent and his hips are loose and easily move. He shifts seamlessly from his back-peddle to his lateral movements or forward sprints. Not only that, but he is able to swing his hips around quickly while transitioning from his back-peddle to downfield pursuit. He then closes and keeps up with the receiver with his speed and makes his opponent’s difficult with his play-making ability.
It is very possible Smith could see the field a ton his freshman season. He is very talented and comes to Tucson with a wide array of tools. One could make the argument that he isn’t rated high enough. But one thing is clear: it’s easy to see why the coaching staff love him.