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Versatile LaChaston Smith Prepares for his First Collegiate Season

North Carolina native LaChaston Smith was Virginia's only early enrollee from the 2013 signing class, and he will hope to use his jump start to earn early playing time in Charlottesville

LaChaston Smith enrolled at UVa in January to begin his collegiate career
LaChaston Smith enrolled at UVa in January to begin his collegiate career

LaChaston Smith

Position: Linebacker

Hometown (School): Statesville, NC (South Iredell)

Height/Weight: 5'11'' 214 lb.

When LaChaston Smith competed in spring practice this year, it was at linebacker. #52 for the Cavaliers could be looking at a number change, however, if he ends up changing positions early in his college career. Smith, who was recruited to UVa as a linebacker, was also a talented tailback in high school. Virginia may look to give Smith a shot at running back in fall camp this year, with the recent departure of Clifton Richardson. After breaking his leg early in his senior season at South Iredell High School, Smith returned for the playoffs, and rushed for 7 touchdowns on 191 the first half. That gives you an idea what kind of talent the freshman brings to the table at the running back position.

Watching LaChaston's high school film you can see that the only thing that kept him from being a consensus 4-star player was his size. At 5'11'', Smith is a little undersized his position. That hasn't stopped players like London Fletcher from being effective at linebacker though. Smith can both drop back in coverage and play the pass, and also come up quickly and stop the run. Smith simply has a nose for the football. A big hitter, Smith has great awareness, quickly identifying the ball carrier and getting to the spot. Smith also has solid hands, returning several interceptions for South Iredell.

Whether Smith ends up at linebacker or running back is yet to be determined. For right now, the roster still has him listed at linebacker, but keep in mind that the incoming freshman haven't been added to the roster, and nothing is official at this point. At linebacker, Smith could figure in on special teams early in his career, while providing depth in Jon Tenuta's defensive unit. If he transitions to the offensive side of the ball, Smith will almost certainly redshirt, and look to contribute more down the road. Right now, its probably more likely that he'll stay on the defensive side. Either way, Smith is a prospect who plays a lot bigger than his size, and could end up having a very productive career in Charlottesville.