Tue May 31 09:46am EDT
A year later, he's changed his mind.
On Friday, New Mexico announced that Smith had been granted his release so that he could play closer to his home in Hialeah, Fla. Or, more than likely, play in the SEC like most thought he originally would.
Smith played in all 12 games last year, but never started. He finished his New Mexico career with 13 tackles and a sack.
Smith is actually the fourth defensive lineman to leave the New Mexico program in the past two weeks. Junior defensive end Johnathan Rainey was medically disqualified from playing after suffering a broken bone in his neck last year. Omar Castillo's scholarship was not renewed and J.J. Hugine left the program because he also wanted to be closer to home.
It's possible that Locksley's uncertain future played a role in Smith's decision to leave. Locksley just renegotiated his contract to offer the school a cheaper buyout and he's still battling legal issues with a former assistant coach who is claiming a hostile work environment. Not to mention, Locksley is 2-22 in his two years as a head coach.