Roquan Smith surfaces and has quite a bit to say about what transpired on signing day. Not much is too surprising – Ulbrich lied straight out to him (“Coach Ulbricht did say that Coach Dan Quinn (of the Atlanta Falcons) had called him the night before, but he had declined the job offer”) and the bad taste that left in Smith’s mouth is what’s led him to this no-NLI path he’s now on, rather than some trailblazing motive.
But I’m not completely sure he knows what he gets by not signing the NLI.
“When you sign a letter-of-intent, it give a school all authority over you. You don’t really have any say or anything like that. People say choose the school because of the schools, but coaches shape the school. When people talk like that, that’s kind of crazy. If you get a bull at the school, why would you go to a school to have a bull coach you? You have to look at it like that. Say for example, you’re at the school for two years and then some butthole coaches come in, they won’t be able to hold you there if you’re only on scholarship papers. The letter-of-intent gives the school all power over you.”
“Actually, I do think it’s an unfair situation. Think about if a kid comes from New Jersey and goes all the way out to Texas or somewhere and then someone at home gets sick. With the letter of intent, if he’s their star player, they may want to keep him there regardless of what else is going on. With the scholarship papers, it’s a year in and year out situation, so they just can’t hold you in one place. Where I plan to go, I do plan to be for four years, though.”
If he thinks he becomes a free agent for his entire collegiate career by foregoing the NLI, he’s sadly mistaken. Not sure if he’s getting bad advice, or if he just doesn’t understand that he becomes locked in upon enrolling, but it sounds like he’s in for a surprise down the road.