Smith ecstatic to be a Red Raider
The Red Raiders were seemingly full on the offensive line for the 2016 class roughly a month ago, but a decommitment from Emoree Giddens led to an open scholarship in the trenches. Offensive line coach Lee Hays and the staff have been on the lookout for another OT to add ever since, and they found their man on Wednesday afternoon in Lucas (Texas) Lovejoy offensive tackle Bailey Smith.
Smith camped with Tech in Lubbock over the summer, so he'd bee on the Hays' radar for quite some time. The O-line coach decided to extend an offer, and Smith decided to pull the trigger himself on the same day.
"I mean, it was pretty surreal. It was pretty exciting for me. Whenever I got off the phone with him, I was as happy as I could be. I called my parents, told them about it," he said. "Me and Coach Hays have been talking since May. I really like him. He's been nothing but nice to me. He's been very honest with how things are, and that's what I like about him."
Smith and fellow Tech O-line commit Giovanni Pancotti were the two standouts at the camp in Lubbock back in June, and the Lovejoy product had a great experience learning and picking up pointers from Hays.
"I think they had a lot of good things to say that I've really applied to my season this year. They did a really good job of helping me out, fixing stance issues, and just a few things like that. It was a really fun camp, and I really liked it."
Smith is very familiar with the Tech offense, too. They run a similar system at his school, and he loves the way the Red Raiders get after it at the snap.
"Texas Tech runs a very similar offense to what our school runs. There's a lot of similarities. The tempo, pass protection, everything is just really similar. I just love Texas Tech. I just don't know how to describe it," he said. "They're nasty. That's one of the main things. They're mean. Coach Hays has done a great job with them with everything they've had to overcome this season. It's just incredible. They've done a great job."
And while he had already seen the campus back in June, Smith also got to experience gameday in Lubbock, as he visited for the Iowa State game earlier this season.
"I went down to Tech for the Iowa State game, and I just loved the atmosphere. Just being at the Jones and listening to the Raider Power chants were awesome. It was so great."
Now, Smith is ecstatic to be a Red Raider, and he's ready to fully shift his focus over to the playoffs with his commitment in the books.
"It just feels good to finally get an offer and it be the school I want to play at. It just takes a lot off my chest, and now I can really focus on us making a deep run into the playoffs.