Twin D-lineman on UK’s wish list

Published 6:21 pm Monday, June 27, 2022

Twins Jerod and Jacob Smith are consensus top 200 players in the 2024 recruiting and the kind of defensive linemen that any school in the country would like to have.

They recently added offers from Notre Dame to ones they already had from other top programs like Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Penn State, Tennessee, Michigan State and Iowa. The brothers have over 20 offers and the number likely will continue to grow.

They played at Somerset High School in Kentucky for two years before transferring to Loomis Chaffe School in Connecticut for the 2021 season. They have also reclassified to be in the 2024 recruiting class.

Jerod is a 6-3, 240-pounder while Jacob is a 6-4, 225-pounder. Both have impressive skills that they wanted to enhance by playing with and against better competition at Loomis Chaffee.

However, they have not forgotten their Kentucky roots. They moved to Somerset because that is where their grandmother lives. Their father, Jerod, has been a Marine for 17 years and when the family returned from Japan his wife and sons moved to Somerset. He’s stationed in North Carolina.

The twins have indicated to their father that they like Iowa, Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky the most of the schools recruiting them. The father has a clear No. 1.

“The reason I like Kentucky is the person who is recruiting them influences how much they love the school. They love (defensive coordinator) coach (Brad) White. I don’t want them to go out in the freezing cold (in Iowa) to play football.

“My favorite school is Kentucky. I am Big Blue and the boys like that school. They love Kentucky, Iowa, Georgia and Alabama.”

Jerod Smith has learned not to try and influence where his sons will play in college thanks to advice from a college coach. Smith and his wife were telling their sons the academic advantages of schools like Virginia, Duke or Notre Dame.

“I had a college coach say, ‘Mr. Smith, you are not the one that will be dedicating your life to the school. Maybe stop putting your input in.’ Since then I have stepped back and listened,” the father said. “Now my wife still puts her opinion in there. She wants a school where they focus on education because not everybody goes to the NFL.

“We both want them to get an education they can use in life. We want them prepared for life after college so they can be successful in life and not just football.”

He says his sons don’t get overly excited about football and don’t yet realize how good they can be if they put in the extra work.

“If I gave them the opportunity to swim in the lake all summer, they would choose that 10 of 10 over lifting and stuff like that,” Jerod Smith said. “I tell them college football is a business and you have to approach it like that. Right now they are gifted athletes. They are strong and do work on football skills but they don’t worry about proper sleep or nutrition. They just get by on strength and talent.

“Every time we go visit a school and we get to talk to a nutritionist, I try to drive home to them to cut out fast food and get more sleep. But they are still just kids.”

He did make a “deal” with them after their 2021 season ended.

“I told them if they went and worked and trained hard I would give them their whole summer to spend time with their friends (in Somerset) rather than come with me (in North Carolina) because they love Somerset,” he said.

“I am beyond proud of them and what they have done and can still do. I tell them all the time not to take anything for granted. I am the same size they are but not as skilled or talented. They have been blessed and have to appreciate that and make sure they don’t want that talent.”