Just a few days after landing linebacker Melvin Jones, LSU landed another Lake Charles prospect when Barbe tight-end Desean Smith called up Coach Miles and committed. Smith is a big time player and is widely considered one of the top tight-end prospects in the nation. All four services have him ranked four stars and ranked nationally. Smith chose LSU over offers from Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Florida State, Texas A&M, and just about everyone else. As a junior, Smith caught 43 passes for 764 yards and seven touchdowns.
Smith is the kind of weapon at the tight-end position that LSU has not had in quite some time. Richard Dickson proved to be a very valuable asset in the passing game, but he did not possess the raw talent that Smith has. Smith is listed anywhere between 6'4" and 6'6" and could fill out that frame to eventually play in the 240 to 250 range in college. At the high school level, Smith essentially acts as a big wide receiver who is best utilized when flexed out. He also has pretty good athleticism, reporting a 4.68 in the 40 and a 28 inch vertical leap. That athleticism shows up in his highlights as he frequently out jumps defenders for the football. He could be a match up nightmare at the college level...proving too speedy for linebackers to handle, but can motion to the outside, match up against a cornerback, and take advantage of a significant size advantage. He should be deadly in the red zone. He will need to gain some weight and can certainly improve his blocking on the line. His high school team simply does not ask him to do much of that. However, Smith shows off some nice toughness which should translate nicely when he's asked to perform as an in-line blocker at the next level. He also shows off good hands and uses them well, catching the ball away from his body.
The ceiling for Smith is as high as you can go for a tight-end. He has the potential to turn into a total game changer along the lines of Jermaine Gresham or Dwayne Allen.
Here are some highlights from Smith's junior season: