Yesterday, the Virginia Tech Hokies received some big news on the recruiting trail as three-star TE/OL Lecitus Smith announced that he had committed to Virginia Tech. Smith became the first player from Georgia and third tight end to commit to the Hokies joining Drake Deluliis and Dalton Keene from the Class of 2017.
Most recruiting sites have Smith listed as a tight end while Scout has him listed as an offensive tackle. With James Shibest being the primary recruiter for Smith, it’s likely that Smith will at least start out his time in Blacksburg working as a tight end.
However, if Smith can at least another 30 to 35 pounds to his frame, a position change is the best for him.
As a tight end, Smith is best as a run blocker that is quite mobile and fairly athletic for a blocker while being able to quickly pull and create a hole up the middle for his running back. Smith’s known for being a guy who can put his fair share of pancake blocks as proven by his highlight tape which has evoked this quote on him.
1 recruiting profile on Lecitus Smith had this line: "The class of '17 TE produces more pancakes on a Friday than the local IHOP." #Hokies
— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) June 15, 2016
That may be one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard of from a recruiting profile but as mentioned above, Smith is a very talented blocker.
As a pass catcher, Smith isn’t bad but he just doesn’t seem to be a guy who could really make much of a difference in the passing game at the collegiate level. Smith isn’t a guy who can get separation on a route against an opposing linebacker but if he were to stay at tight end, he would be a tenacious blocking tight end that would be extremely useful on short-yardage and goal-line situations where he could have some use on a play action pass play as well.
However, Lecitus Smith’s ceiling is definitely a lot higher if the Hokies do the smart thing and move him from tight end to offensive line. Even with Bucky Hodges likely gone after this season, the Hokies will have the depth at the position with Deluliis and Keene joining Chris Durkin, Chris Cunningham, and Xavier Burke.
As we talked about above, Smith shows in his highlight tape that he is already a quality pull blocker that can come from one side of center and then create space on the other side up the middle. Smith has the quick reactions and mobility to be an effective run-blocking guard that can create space for Virginia Tech’s running backs.
Smith also shows that he already is fairly strong and if he can add some more muscle to get up to 285 to 290, Smith has the potential to get in the offensive line rotation within a couple years of being in Blacksburg. Smith doesn’t have much experience as a pass blocker but he shows that he could definitely develop into one as an interior lineman that has shown the strength to shut down opposing defensive lineman.
Smith also has some good blocking habits including his willingness to get low and create leverage to stand up an opposing defensive lineman to move him out of the way right off the line of scrimmage.
The Hokies have had success moving players from other positions to the offensive line including Wyatt Teller and Wade Hansen while Yosuah Nijman also started out on the defensive line. Unlike those guys, Smith already has spent some time developing his blocking and could make a fairly quick transition.
Lecitus Smith’s ceiling is significantly higher at offensive guard than tight end and while Smith would fit well as a run-blocking tight end on short-yardage and goal-line situations, Smith’s future should be on the interior at guard.