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Florida defensive back Smith first Husker verbal commitment of Frost era

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CJ Smith

C.J. Smith, a four-star defensive back out of Florida, became the first commit of the Scott Frost era at Nebraska on Sunday.

The first verbal commitment of Scott Frost's tenure at Nebraska is in, and it's at a position of need.

Defensive back C.J. Smith of Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach, Florida) pledged to the 2018 class on Sunday afternoon, he announced on Twitter.

"It's been a great honor to go through this amazing recruiting process," he wrote. "I'd like to thank all coaches that recruited me through my long journey. I 'd also like to thank my parents on helping me become the man that I am today."

Even by the short timeline in front of Frost and his assistant coaches, Smith was an early target. He received a scholarship offer on Sunday, one day after Frost was officially hired and the same day he was introduced as the head coach here.

That day, Husker outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt visited Smith at his home, and the staff made sure to get him on an official visit as soon as it could. It paid off. 

It's no surprise that Smith was high on the Huskers' list. His older brother, Tre'Quan, is Central Florida's best wide receiver. As a junior, Tre'Quan has 54 catches for 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns through 12 games so far this season. 

Now, his little brother will be playing for the same coaching staff, just 1,400 miles north and west. In addition to the family connection, the younger Smith visited UCF unofficially in November. 

He is listed at 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds and played primarily safety safety at Oxbridge. 

His other official visits included Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Louisville. Smith at one time was verbally pledged to Florida, but opened his recruitment back up months before the season started. 

Smith is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and the No. 27 safety in the country. 247Sports/Scout lists him as a three-star, but the service's industry composite ranking is a four-star. 

According to MaxPreps, Smith had 16 tackles in seven games for the ThunderWolves, who advanced all the way to the to the Class 3A state championship game in Orlando on Saturday before losing.

Smith only appeared in seven games and did not play in the state title game — he was in Lincoln on his official visit — due to a broken hand, according to an Orlando Sun Sentinel report. 

As a junior, Smith was named to Palm Beach Post's All-Area team as a second-team wide receiver.

That paper in August ranked him the No. 2 senior in the area on its Class of 2018 "big board," behind only Miami commit and fellow defensive back Gurvan Hall. 

This story will be updated. 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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