February 8, 2013
Meet the Recruit: Eric Smith
Eric Smith is a 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle out of Columbia, Georgia. Smith flew relatively under the radar until his senior film came in, and then became the source of an interesting recruiting situation. After his film was evaluated, Smith was being pursued by both UVA and UNC. As Smith's stock continued to rise, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would be offered by both. However, following the firing of Jim Reid, UNC stole Brad Henson from the Cavaliers in their typical super-shady, backdoor, dark alley, scumbag ways. This however became an opportunity for the Hoos to move on Smith, as UNC was now full on the offensive line. UVA pounced on the opportunity and secured Smith, basically completing a trade of Smith for Henson. This is a trade we all liked, especially considering this one piece of logic: It is much easier to slide a tackle inside to play guard, than it is to bump a guard outside to play tackle. Smith could turn out to be a steal at tackle, literally.
UVA Projection: Smith probably has the best shot of anyone to play his freshman season, but I don't think I see that happening, barring some sort of disaster. A redshirt season will allow him to bulk up and be ready to compete for a spot at right tackle in his RS Freshman season. It's difficult to project the success of offensive lineman so early, but if I had to guess, I think he'll be a good one. He's got a physical nature that translates well at RT.