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Recruiting Roundup: Max Smith, TE

Max Smith
TE, 6-2, 258 LBS, ESPN Grade = 75
Fr., Scottsdale, Arizona (Saguaro HS)

The top tight end prospect in the state of Arizona. A powerful two-way threat at tight end. Versatile athlete who excelled on offense, defense and special teams for perhaps the top high school program in the state of Arizona. One of our strengths is not the TE position and Smith is a talented player who could very well see the field in 2009.

Scouting Report:
Bench presses 365 pounds and squats 525. A dependable receiver and excellent blocker from the tight end position. Has the ability to excel as an H-back. Scouts say - Smith is a tight end prospect with solid size. You wish he was a little taller, but on film he looks to have a fairly thick build. He is a solid well-rounded tight end. As a receiver he displays good hands. Can catch the ball away from his body and bring it in. Displays good hands. Can catch the ball away from his body and bring it in. Displays good concentration to catch the bad ball. Displays adequate speed and can seem a little rigid in his overall body movement on the run. He is best suited for the short-to-intermediate passing game. Does a good job of cleanly releasing and can find the soft spots in zone coverage. Not very elusive as a runner with the ball in his hands, but will lower his shoulder and fight for yards. He is a solid blocker who plays often from a "two" point stance. Makes solid initial contact and gets decent hand placement. Will take short choppy steps, but needs to be sure to not get up on his toes. Can create some push in the run game and works well in double team and combination block situations. Nothing very flashy about Smith, but he can be a productive player as both a receiver and a blocker.

Smith earned First-Team All-4A honors in 2008 by the Arizona Republic. Listed as the No. 66 tight end prospect in the country by ESPN Scouts, Inc. Ranked as the No. 71 tight end in the nation by Named to the Friday Night Heroes list by Phoenix Metro Football Magazine.

High School Career
Was a prep teammate of fellow signees Corey Adams and Kody Koebensky and also played with current Sun Devil defensive back Max Tabach at Saguaro in 2006. Helped guide Saguaro to three consecutive 4A-I state championships and a combined 41-1 record over the 2006-08 seasons. Caught 24 career passes for 487 yards (14.3 avg.) and 7 TD. Collected 115 career tackles with 8 sacks and 1 INT. Averaged 37.2 yards on 66 career punts.
Senior Year, 2008
Caught 14 passes for 261 yards (18.7 avg.) with 4 touchdowns as a senior. Also totaled 72 tackles, 8 sacks and an interception on defense. Caught a season high four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown against Sahuaro on Sept. 12, 2008. Totaled a season-high 59 receiving yards on only two catches with one touchdown against Apache Junction on Oct. 24, 2008. Added three catches for 35 yards and a season-high two scores against Chaparral on Oct. 17, 2008. Threw a 30-yard touchdown pass against Lake Havasu on Nov. 14, 2008. Collected at least five tackles in seven games on the yearŠposted a season-high nine tackles on two occasions, against Shadow Mountain on Sept. 26, 2008 and against Paradise Valley on Oct. 3, 2008. Collected a season-high two quarterback sacks against Cactus on Nov. 21, 2008. Averaged 38.3 yards on 38 punts. Placed seven inside the 20-yard line and had a long punt of 62 yards.
Junior Year, 2007
Caught 17 passes for 207 yards (14.8 avg.) and three touchdowns as a junior in 2007. Totaled 26 tackles on defense. Had season-highs of four receptions for 51 yards against McClintock on Oct. 26, 2007. Caught two touchdown passes totaling 27 yards against Cactus on Nov. 2, 2007. Recorded three receptions for 31 yards against Canyon del Oro on Dec. 8, 2007. Posted a season-high seven tackles against Apache Junction on Oct. 19, 2007 and also recorded five tackles against Chaparral on Nov. 30, 2007. Averaged 35.4 yards on 24 punts. Placed five punts inside the 20-yard line and had a long punt of 61 yards.
Sophomore Year, 2006
Collected three receptions for 19 yards and totaled four carries for 17 yards as a sophomore on Saguaro's varsity squad in 2006. Notched 16 tackles on defense. Also saw limited action at punter for Saguaro.

The Decision:
"It's a great feeling," Smith said after committing to ASU. "I have always wanted to go to ASU." Verbally committed to the Sun Devils on Oct. 19, 2008. Chose ASU over Colorado State and Idaho.

The Verdict:
Adds to a talented, young core of TEs. Definitely will be used more as a blocker and short yardage receiver to Coyle's seam busting style of TE. Figures to fit in nicely with Knapp and Figueroa. TE core is coming together well.