After spending last week with a 2023 prospect that has yet to be offered by Carolina, we headed back to the 2022 class on Friday night with a look at one of the Tar Heels’ most recent offers in the class. 2022 WDE Darris Smith and the Appling County Pirates played their first region game of the season on Friday and absolutely dominated, scoring 42 first quarter points on the way to a 69-12 victory.
Smith took all of his snaps in the first half, but in those snaps that he saw, he simply dominated. Smith was everywhere for the Pirates out of his defensive end spot, finishing with nine total tackles, seven of which he was the primary tackler. He also lived in the Long County backfield in this one, finishing 6.0 tackles for a loss including 1.0 sack. It was a simply dominant performance from one of the hottest commodities currently on the 2022 recruiting trail.
Smith is an extremely intriguing prospect at weakside defensive end. He has the length off the edge and uses it well and it helps that he has a strong release off the line of scrimmage. His acceleration is impressive, as he can’t just cover so much space in a short period of time, making it a nightmare for opposing run games like we saw on Friday. He doesn’t show off his upper body strength on every play, but there is some power in his hands and he was able to throw aside offensive tackles on a couple of different occasions in this one. At the AAA level of competition, you do have questions if it will be a significant step up in competition, but there is already a strong skill set in place for Smith to work with.