Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Michigan football 4-star signee Jaden Smith ask for release from national letter of intent

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The Michigan football program continues to deal with adversity after its coaching staff was shuffled.

Jaden Smith, a four-star linebacker from North Carolina who was signed as an incoming freshman, requested a release from his national letter of intent (NLI), he wrote in a social media post Sunday night.

The West Charlotte High standout is rated the No. 284 overall prospect nationally, per 247Sports composite rankings, and was U-M’s ninth-rated prospect in the 2024 recruiting class.

“After much prayer and deliberation, I’ve made the decision to formally request my release from my NLI,” Smith wrote in his post. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. Forever grateful for Coach (Sherrone) Moore and The University of Michigan.”

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Smith signed his NLI last December, shortly before the Wolverines defeated Alabama in the Rose Bowl and Washington in the National Championship to cap their undefeated season, however, since then the entire defensive coaching staff has changed.

Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter went to Los Angeles with Jim Harbaugh, as did defensive line coach Mike Elston and defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale, while linebackers coach Rick Minter finished his stint as interim coach.

U-M has reportedly hired Don ‘Wink’ Martindale as its defensive coordinator, the announcement is expected to be official at some point this week.

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