The Maryland Terrapins received a pleasant phone call last evening when Pennsylvania QB Tyler Smith called to inform the coaching staff that he would be a Maryland Terrapin. Smith is the Terps fifth commitment for 2010. Known for his arm strength and quick release, he is still considered the sleeper of his class.
Smith, from Easton, PA threw for 2,970 yards and 35 touchdowns as a sophomore in route to earning first-team All-State honors for Class AAA. As the recruiting process was beginning to heat up, Smith's offer sheet was growing. As of April, he boasted offers from Akron, Connecticut, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Syracuse. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound quarterback visited Maryland for Junior Day, and immediately loved it.
"Maryland was beautiful and I loved it there," Smith said. "I went there for Junior Day and then was back for a practice where I got to sit in on meetings with the team. During practice, I stood next to Coach Franklin and the rest of the quarterbacks and he is one heck of a guy. I also really like Coach Ralph Friedgen a lot. He's a family guy who puts morals and academics above football and I really like that about him."
Following his visit to College Park, Smith took visits to UConn and Pittsburgh. Once back at school, college coaches began coming by to talk to him and his high school coach. While the other visits and coaches visiting was nice, Smith said, "The whole time I would be thinking Maryland, Maryland, Maryland."
"I have been down to Maryland three times and I loved the football, I loved the area and I loved the family atmosphere. Coach Franklin was a big reason why I committed here. The excitement that he brought, the knowledge of the game he showed. I fell in love with it."
Maryland started recruiting Smith as a sophomore, and began to recruit him harder during Junior Day. Smith said, "The recruiting process was a bit overwhelming at times and at the end of the day, I knew I wanted to go to Maryland, I talked it over with my family and we decided to give coach the call."
Smith's Wilson Area High School team, runs the shotgun and spread offense, utilizing many four wide-receiver formations. When asked if he could foresee any difficulties coming from behind center Smith said, "Not at all."
The coaches have told Tyler that he can come in and compete. He plans to enroll early so that he can get in and learn the playbook as soon as possible. "My coach has started having me writing on the dry erase board breaking down defenses. I really think that is going to help my transition to the next level."