Antone Smith -- He'll announce on signing day

Antone Smith will know shortly where he's going to be playing college football next year. There's a month until signing day and it might not take the whole month for him to make up his mind among Florida, Miami, Florida State and Auburn, all of whom are recruiting him very hard, but no matter which school earns his trust, it won't be until signing day before he reveals his choice.

"I'll know sometime soon," said the 5-8, 187-pound package of offensive dynamite from Pahokee, who led his team to two straight state championships including a 2004 title that saw him earn Mr. Football for the state of Florida with a 44-touchdown effort.

"When I know, though, I'm not telling anybody. I'll announce it on ESPN on signing day," he said.

He insists that not even his parents will know which school he will sign with until he makes that announcement.

"It'll be my secret," he said. "My mama won't even know, but she'll be cool with it. I'll let everybody know on signing day."

Antone Smith just finished a week of all-star practices that culminated in Florida's 24-22 victory over the California All-Stars in the Cali-Florida High School All-Star Game at the Orange Bowl in Miami. He had a good game with 43 yards, but said the best part of the game was representing his home state.

"Man, this was all about pride for our state," he said. "All of us, we were representing Florida, so it was really important to us to play together and come out with a win."

He spent the week playing with and playing against some of the most highly recruited high school talent in the country. He says he felt he proved that even though he's from a small Florida town, he can compete with the big boys.

"First off, it was just great to be with all the guys," he said. "Man, everyone on this team was really talented. All of us knew we didn't have to do it all alone, that we were a team of talented players and all we had to do was play together.

"The defense was strong and it was awesome there at the end when we stopped them for the (game-tying attempt) two-pointer. We played our hearts out. None of us wanted to go to overtime.

One of the best parts for Antone during all-star week was making new friends. He came away with a real appreciation for quarterback Harrison Beck of Clearwater Countryside.

"Now Harrison is the character," said Smith of the quarterback who is committed to Nebraska. "That dude kept me laughing all week. I never met a quarterback who could talk so much. In practice, in the locker room and in the game, he was so funny.

"He got hit a couple of times [by California defenders] and he said 'I know quarterbacks that can hit harder that that!' … man that's funny stuff."

Smith's running style is a combination of all the great backs he's ever seen. He's watched, learned and implemented good things from all the backs who have impressed him over the years. He rates Emmitt Smith as one of his favorites because E-Smith does something that keeps him from absorbing the big hits.

"It's all about low pad level," said A-Smith. "You keep your pads low and keep your center of gravity low and you don't take the bad hits. That's why Emmitt's been good so long. I learned that from him and that's what my game's all about … low pad level, low center of gravity. That's me."


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