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Welcome Aboard - Enoch Smith Jr.

The Spartans secure a second commitment on the day of the spring game.

Al Messerschmidt

Defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr., Mt. Carmel (Ill.) - 6-foot-2, 270 pounds

Ratings: 247 sports (4 stars), Rivals (3 stars), Scout (3 stars), ESPN (unranked)

Notable offers: Notre Dame, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, Cincinnati

(Note: I recommend reading this story from 247sports about Smith Jr's visit to MSU in February and the experience for his little brother, who has autism. Very cool, beautiful story.)

Michigan State started off Saturday with a bang, landing a commitment from Hinsdale Central center Brian Allen, but that was just the start of a very good day.

Mt. Carmel (Ill.) defensive tackle Enoch Smith. Jr. committed to Michigan State following the spring game, giving the Spartans a solid player at a position of need.

Smith Jr. was a key cog in Mt. Carmel's state title in Illinois' biggest division last year. He also was named first-team all-state by The Chicago Tribune after recording 41 tackles and 23 tackles for loss in his junior season.

Smith Jr. is the sixth commitment in the class of 2014 and the first defensive lineman. He is the third prospect from Illinois in the class, joining Allen and St. Charles North offensive tackle Chase Gianacakos.

The Spartans currently have just one player on the roster in offensive lineman Jack Allen with another arriving in the fall in 2013 recruit Demetrius Cooper.

He also has arguably the most impressive offer list of any commitment the Spartans have to date.

Smith Jr. is a strong inside presence on the defensive line, but what makes him intriguing is his quickness. He not only lines up as a defensive tackle, but spends time as a defensive end, too, because of his mobility. I still think he will be a defensive tackle at MSU.

No matter where he lines up, though, he uses his hands and arms incredibly well to get into the backfield and past blockers. He also doe a good job of keeping his pad level low -- most of the time -- which provides him with the leverage to get under the offensive lineman and drive him back.

All that said, his biggest strength appears to be his motor, as he is go-go-go on every play and pursues the ball with all he has got and doesn't let give up on the play. There are some plays where he makes a tackle on the sideline because of a good read and good pursuit.

Smith Jr. might not be the biggest defensive lineman out there, but he is strong and once he spends time with Ken Mannie at MSU, watch out.

For Spartans fans, a great defensive tackle recruit should bring peace of mind as it has served as a point of frustration that despite the success of Jerel Worthy, top DTs haven't been committing to MSU.

MSU has quite a few players at the defensive tackle spots, but will lose Tyler Hoover, Micajah Reynolds following this season and that leaves little experience at the spot.


2014 commit bios