Northeastern Oklahoma A&M linebacker Akii Smith will headline a group of about a half a dozen junior college prospects who will visit UNT this weekend, just days before the beginning of the midterm signing period on Dec. 18.
Smith took an unofficial visit to UNT in the spring and recently took an official visit to Texas State.
“I’m excited,” Smith said. “North Texas was the first school to offer me. I like that they are in Conference USA and the teams that they play. They are doing well this year. The coaches are great and the facilities are fantastic.”
Smith, who is 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, is a middle linebacker, and can also play on the strong side.
“I’m a middle linebacker, but the coaches feel like they can play me on the outside because of my speed,” Smith said.
UNT has two senior linebackers in middle linebacker Zach Orr and outside linebacker Will Wright. Derek Akunne, another outside linebacker, will return after a productive junior season. UNT also has Oregon transfer Anthony Wallace, who is expected to compete for the starting middle linebacker job after Orr’s departure, waiting in the wings. Wallace sat out this season after transferring.
Smith would potentially give UNT another option.
Smith earned honorable mention All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference honors this season after posting 30 solo tackles and 25 assisted tackles.
Smith said he has an offer from Texas State in addition to offers from New Mexico and South Alabama. Location could be an advantage for UNT when it comes to recruiting Smith, who is from Stillwell, Okla.
Smith said he will likely decide where to continue his college career on Sunday following his visit to UNT.
Josh Greer, a quarterback who spent time at UAB before electing to transfer, is also expected to be in town.
UNT will lose starting quarterback Derek Thompson, but has several other players slated to return, including freshman Dajon Williams, highly regarded transfer Brock Berglund and career backup Andrew McNulty.
The fact that UNT offered Greer could be an indication that the Mean Green wants another option.
UNT’s coaches have been very high on Williams all along, but he will have very little experience heading into next season. He came on and led UNT on a drive in its season-opener against Idaho, completing five of his six pass attempts for 55 yards. UNT has him down for appearing in two games in its official stats.
Dan McCarney said heading into the season that UNT wanted to get Williams into a games throughout the season, but Thompson played well and Williams suffered a series of injuries that kept him out of practice.
I would be surprised if UNT doesn’t find a way to get Williams a medical redshirt when all is said and done.
And while we are at it, a few people have questioned my assertion that UNT only has about four spots left in its class.
I checked again with another source and am certain. The number of spots UNT has left could actually be as low as three.
UNT is counting a host of players already on the team in its class of 25 this year. That list includes, Kaydon Kirby, Kenny Buyers, Avery Fortenberry (grayshirt), Blake Macek, Skip Caldwell and Wallace.
The question now could be if UNT can hang on to the players it has, and it has several good prospects committed. The Mean Green lost Desmon White to TCU. White won’t be the only player UNT has had committed who other teams will come after.
Houston recently offered Red Oak cornerback Garrett Davis, who could be wavering. Davis posted on Twitter (I can’t get the exact Tweet to embed on the blog) “I’m committed to UNT bro but Houston just offered me the other day so idk bro”
For those of you not up to date on Twitter verbiage idk translates to “I don’t know.”
I will try to give him a shout and get the story.