Class of 2008

P.J. Smith

HometownRiver Ridge, LA
High schoolJohn Curtis

Originally published Feb. 7, 2008 in the Omaha World-Herald

Smith says: "The tradition at Nebraska is so great, with the Blackshirts. The people of Nebraska want to get back to that winning tradition and play hard-nosed defense."

Did you know?

Smith attends the same high school that produced USC tailback Joe McKnight, named Parade national co-player of the year in 2006. Also in 2006, coach J.T. Curtis was named USA Today high school coach of the year.

The gurus say puts Smith as the No. 55 safety overall after a senior season in which he garnered first-team Class 2-A all-state honors. ranks him No. 15 in the state of Louisiana.

About Smith

Smith visited Southern Mississippi last weekend before picking Nebraska over the Golden Eagles, Arkansas and Baylor. Senior season included 74 tackles, three interceptions and 19 pass breakups as John Curtis Christian won the Class 2-A state championship for the fourth straight year. Lead recruiter was John Papuchis, the 29-year-old first-year assistant who followed Bo Pelini from LSU to NU. Smith called Pelini a "big factor" behind his decision. "I spoke to some of his former players and they told me that as good of a coach as he is, that he's an even better man," Smith said.

Our take

Looks to be a polished product as a beneficiary of playing in a well-run, successful program. Size and tools are similar to those of Latravis Washington, who played some special teams for the Huskers as a freshman last fall. Definitely has the ability to get on the field before too long.

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