Junior Day Notes: Smith, Greene High On VT

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Last Saturday was a special day for Cox (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive lineman Der’Woun Greene several weeks prior. The two Tidewater standouts attended Virginia Tech’s junior day event last Saturday, and at this point Blacksburg seems likely to be home for both over the next four or five years.

Smith gets the good news

Primary recruiter Curt Newsome pulled Alston Smith aside on Saturday and the two made their way to head coach Frank Beamer’s office. There, Coach Beamer informed the 6-4, 260-pound junior defensive lineman that he had an offer from Virginia Tech.

“It’s great,” Smith said. “It means a lot to me. It’s letting me know that all of my hard work is paying off.”

Smith added, “It’s a great thing that they offered. One of my dreams has come true.”

The son of former Virginia Tech and NFL defensive end Bruce Smith, Alston grew up a Virginia Tech fan and admires the success the program has enjoyed in the ACC. He has Virginia Tech “at the top” of his college list, but for now he doesn’t plan to make a commitment until after his senior season.

“This only happens once in a lifetime, so I’m going to take my time,” Smith said, referring to the recruiting process. “I’m going to enjoy this to the fullest.”

In addition to Virginia Tech, “I’m interested in LSU, but they haven’t contacted me,” Smith said. “I’m going to send some film to them. North Carolina, N.C. State, Maryland and Duke are interested, too.”

Smith opened last season as a starter on the offensive line and at defensive end. He flourished, though, around mid-season, when he moved inside to defensive tackle and played only on one side of the ball. What made the versatile lineman so successful as an interior defensive lineman?

“I do not know,” Smith said with a laugh. “I guess I have average speed for a defensive end, but when I moved to defensive tackle it opened up an opportunity because my speed is pretty good there. I get off the ball quicker than others.”

An inch taller and about 20 pounds heavier since last season, Smith eyes a breakthrough 2011 season, individually as well as team-wise.