Auburn head coach Gene Chizik got his week off to a great start when Jason Smith—a 6'1", 172-pound dual-threat quarterback from Moblie, Ala.—committed to play football for the Auburn Tigers in 2013, according to Jason Caldwell of Inside The Auburn Tigers.
Smith is a 4-star prospect by Scout.com. He joins pro-style quarterback Jeremy Johnson in Auburn's Class of 2013.
Smith's commitment may indicate the future of true freshman quarterback Zeke Pike. Pike was sent home for the rest of the summer after he was arrested for public intoxication last month. That may have something to do with it, but Smith's commitment is more about versatility for the Tigers rather than the quarterback position.
While Smith may provide some insurance at quarterback, he's likely to see the field at other positions in the SEC, according to Justin Hokanson of AuburnSports.com:
Smith could legitimately play three positions in college, QB, WR or CB.— Justin Hokanson (@JHokanson) July 9, 2012
It's not the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmys and the Joes.
Having a guy like Smith on campus who can do a variety of different things on the football field is a big-time asset for any coach, particularly in this age of specialization. Smith may not see time under center at Auburn, but his services could be used as a wide receiver or cornerback.
Emory Blake is Auburn's only established threat at wide receiver. Sammie Coates, Trovon Reed, incoming freshman Ja'Quay Williams and the rest of the supporting cast is talented, but when Blake went out last season, Auburn's passing offense went in the tank. The Tigers averaged only 129.3 yards of passing offense per game in the three games that Blake missed last season.
Unless another legitimate threat emerges this season at wide receiver, there will be playing time available there for Smith next season.
Starting cornerbacks T'Sharvan Bell and Chris Davis are both upper-classmen in 2012, which means that opportunities could also exist at cornerback once Smith arrives on campus next season.
Wherever he ends up, Smith is a talented piece who will find a way to make an impact at Auburn wherever the coaching staff puts him.