Long Beach, California standout Athlete John “JuJu” Smith is the number 7 ranked ATH according to ESPN. He is listed as 6′-1, 185 pounds, and that would mean he would bring in a physical presence that could turn out to be a player similar to the Seattle Seahawks DB Brandon Browner, just a few inches smaller.
Smith is an athlete that brings an intimidation factor to the field in two ways; physically and performance wise. He has good size for a DB and he plays even bigger than he is, which brings me back to the Brandon Browner comparison. Browner is 6′-4 and is a physical presence on the field, just like Smith. Both player bigger than they already are and pretty much dominate the field. He doesn’t have world class speed, but has good recovery/make up speed.
Aside from his physical attributes, he is also a pure football player. He plays receiver as well, so he is versatile. I can see him playing safety for the college he chooses, and I see him playing very well at that position. He plays the ball at it’s highest point, and has a very good sense of when to attempt to break a pass up. His coverage skills are on point with majority of safeties in his class, and displays his football IQ often. Smith also does more than cover, he can also deliver a big hit when necessary, and no ball carrier really makes him hesitant to tackle.
Elite safety play is a rare find while recruiting and developing, but I believe that Smith has what it takes to become an elite prospect when signing day comes around. Long Beach Polytechnic High School may have a bit of a buzz going once this whole thing is said and done because schools will be there often to see “JuJu” on Saturdays.
Some notable school offers he holds are as follows: Michigan, Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, Arkansas, Nebraska, USC, and Oregon, just to name a few. Based off that list alone, one would recognize rather quickly that Smith has the ability to become one of the best players at his position for the next 3-4 years.
Overall, Smith is a football player plain and simple, and brings that ability when he plays. Backed up by elite programs offering scholarships, and his physical abilities, he can play very well. Ranked 7th overall ATH by ESPN as of May 25th, don’t be too surprised if you see him climb up the rankings by February.
As always, Go Blue!