Feature photo courtesy of Collin Smith.
Collin Smith was born into the game of football. His father played high school football in Ohio and later played center at Marshall University.
As a baby, Smith had a football in his crib and he started playing flag football early on in second grade.
Now a junior at Ligonier Valley High School, the 6’1”, 196-pound quarterback is coming off of a successful season in which he threw for over 2,000 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. However, Smith may be even better at safety, where he recorded 75 tackles and three interceptions last year.
“I thought last season went pretty well,” Smith said. “We went 9-3, coming back from only a 4-win season.”
Smith’s hard work on the field as a safety has helped him earn several scholarship offers from Division I programs like Michigan, Boston College, Louisville, West Virginia, UConn and Penn State. At the moment, the Ligonier, Pa. native isn’t sure where he wants to play in college, but he said there were a few schools that caught his attention.
“I went to visit Boston College and I really liked it there,” Smith said. “I’m also liking Louisville, but I haven’t been able to get down there for a visit. Michigan was really nice, too.”
Ligonier Valley head coach Roger Beitel described Smith as a very physical safety who refuses to be blocked and can finish tackles. He said Smith has the strength to hit hard like a linebacker and the quickness to cover routes on the post.
“He (Smith) has the skills needed to cover a receiver man-to-man,” Beitel said. “That really gives us a lot of flexibility on our defense.”
According to Beitel, Smith has grown significantly as a leader on and off the field over the years. He has been a starter for two seasons, and is now starting to teach the younger players what they need to do in terms of route running.
“He has become a much more vocal leader,” Beitel said. “I think one of the biggest compliments you can say about the kid is he was one of the first kids we’ve ever had who was chosen by his peers to be a captain on the team as a junior.”
Growing up, Smith looked up to his father, Greg, who has always supported him and motivated him to be the best football player he could be.
“My father played college ball and my main goal growing up was to play college ball just like him,” Smith said. “Now that I’m getting offers and everything, I’m truly blessed and happy to be able to say that I will play Division I football one day.”
Looking ahead toward next season, Smith said his goal is to improve in every way he can, whether it is as a safety or as a quarterback. Smith also has high hopes for his team next season.
“I’m hoping for my team to have a great overall season,” Smith said. “I’ve seen improvement in my team and our mentality throughout the offseason with lifting and training. I think we will succeed in that goal.”
Latest posts by Juan Herrera (see all)
- No. 1 Maryland women’s lacrosse knocks off Ohio State on Senior Day - April 15, 2017
- Judge Culpepper: Born into football - June 16, 2016
- Collin Smith: Following in his father’s footsteps - May 9, 2016