Featured Image: Chris Goltermann – Coweta Score
Among all of the tight ends in the class of 2021, there really doesn’t appear to be a bigger sleeper than Holden Smith. His junior film, shows a promising prospect, but jump into his senior year film, and you really start to see the individual pieces come together that make a complete slot tight end prospect. D1 programs you should be on alert.
For one, Smith has the best hands I’ve seen of any tight end in this recruiting class. That’s no embellishment, the ball sticks to his hands like glue, even when he is in heavy traffic with defenders all around. There was no better example of his elite hands than last Friday.
Northgate was on their opponents 34 yard line and it was 4th and short. They came out with 4 wide receivers, and at the snap they all went vertical up field towards the endzone. With trips receivers out to the left, sophomore QB James Paige lobbed the football up in hopes that a teammate would come down with the pass, and Holden Smith did exactly that.
The 6’3″ senior with 3 East Coweta defenders circled around him rotated over, squared up on the pass, and jumped up with on hand reaching out towards the autumnal sky. The defenders were at an atmospheric level below, watching as this 6’3″ receiver contort his body acrobatically in the air while simultaneously snagging the pass with one hand, and then falling backwards into the endzone.
The jaw-dropping touchdown catch earned him the #1 play in the state of Georgia for Week 5. The outpouring support by the Northgate community made sure, but admittedly, as the video creator, Smith was certainly my pick for #1 as well.
Smith has gone from 180 lbs. to now 200 in the last year, and has already outproduced last seasons results.
“I think I got way better at blocking and quickness off the ball. Also, I noticed I got a lot stronger this offseason in the weight room,” he said.
That was no easy task with Covid-19 creating difficulties.
“It was different for sure going with a limited amount or people for most of the summer,” Smith said on the virus affecting workouts.
Still, the senior improved tremendously. The added weight has surely made a difference, especially with his blocking and ability to break tackles after the catch. As a receiver, there isn’t much to question. That catch last Friday is surely the highlight of the year, but overall, his senior film is really impressive, and honestly no other tight end in the class of 2021 shows the consistent playmaking with their hands.
Smith reminds us a lot of Aubrey Payne out of Locust Grove, who started out at Western Carolina, and is now a starter at Georgia State. Smith though, models his game though after a pro down in Miami.
“I like Mike Gesicki a lot he’s big and athletic like I am and he’s also on my favorite team the Miami Dolphins.”
No doubt, Smith is producing at a higher level during his senior season. As he mentioned earlier, his blocking is much improved, and he is relentless staying engaged with the defender way down field. As a receiver he is trending up as well.
“My goal is to have at least 500 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns. I’m about halfway there on both.”
There are plenty of years where tight ends make All-State with similar numbers, so Smith is definitely one to keep an eye on after the season for various accolades. On the recruiting front, Smith has heard from Air Force and that is pretty much it.
From our stand point, his recruitment is bound to change over the coming months here. Option teams like Air Force will obviously be interested in is his blocking on the edge and ability to high-point passes, but we think his best upside is at slot tight end in a more pass oriented offense.
We might sound like a broken record, but after scouting over 1400 players in the class of 2021, Smith absolutely has some of the best hands we have seen. That’s a pure natural talent that just cannot be taught, and we think overtime colleges will come to notice just that, so be sure to check back with @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on the 2021 recruit and the rest of the players across the state of Georgia.
Interested in recruiting Holden Smith? Click HERE to visit his Recruit Georgia Profile!