photo courtesy Sun-Sentinel

Miami RB Kywan Smith 'shocked' by Illini offer

Illini were the first to offer a scholarship to Miami Central running back

Kywan Smith woke up on Thursday morning with no scholarship offers. The Miami Central running back goes to bed on Thursday night with a Big Ten offer.

Illinois running backs coach Thad Ward gave Smith the good news early Thursday.

"The running backs coach I talked to him (Wednesday) and he told me he'll give me a call back," Smith said. "I guess when he woke up, he told me to call him and I called him and we had a talk and then he gave me the offer, and I was shocked."

What went through Smith's mind at the thought of his first offer?

"I got an offer from Illinois where Vontae Davis played and now he's in the pros," Smith said.

"It feels great. Most people are worried about offers, but I haven't worried about offers because I knew my time was coming. I was just humble and patient."

Illinois obviously has made a big statement by jumping on board first with a scholarship offer. Smith also seems to have struck a chord with Ward.

"Coach Ward knows how to coach the running backs," Smith said. "We have conversations and we're on the same page. We talk about which hole to hit, which technique to look at."

Smith is a bit of a football junkie and loves breaking down film in his free time. His favorite player is former University of Miami running back and longtime NFL ballcarrier Frank Gore -- because of his mastery of technique.

"He's great at technique and knows how to hit the hole and he gets skinny through the hole," Smith said. "He knows when to run through to hole, he knows how to explode when he hits the hole and he's got patience through the hole."

Smith is taking recruiting in stride right now and has received interest from USF, UCF and Charlotte, among others. What's he looking for in a school?

"I'm looking for a good education and having a fun time on the field," Smith said. "Wherever I feel at home at, that's where I'll go."

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