Hidden Gem in a stacked class

Part of our job as recruiting analyst's is talent evaluation, as an evaluator you should never leave any stone unturned. Thankfully last Wednesday night I decided to attend Joe Butler's Metro-Index camp, as I saw what I feel could potentially be a top 25 quarterback nationally, and no one really knows who he is… Yet.

The "Keystone State" is stacked this year, but this QB could put a dent in the top 15 before all is said and done.

Why has Cranberry Township (Pa.) Seneca Valley quarterback Kevan Smith avoided the radar screen some may ask. The answer is because of injury, Smith missed all but two games of his junior season. The 6'-3" 215 signal caller broke a bone in his thumb while snowboarding, according to his father Walter Smith he probably shouldn't have played at all.

"He actually removed the cast himself so he could play those last few games," Walter Smith said.

An accident that Kevan will make sure he does not repeat again.

"I am definitely done with the X-games type of stuff," laughed Smith.

Generally, in football quarterbacks seem to be weaned on being a quarterback. Smith didn't quite follow the regular path as most of his brethren.

"I was too big growing up they always played me on the offensive line," Smith said. "In seventh grade I started playing quarterback."

Despite his near flawless fundamentals and his strong arm, Smith has never really had a true QB coach.

"When I was a sophomore I had a QB coach, but I don't think I learned a lot from him," Smith said. "I guess a lot of it is natural, I watch a lot of guy's on TV and try to fashion my style after them."

Who are some of the quarterbacks that the young teen watches?

"Zack Mills, Michael Robinson, I guess really I try and watch everyone."

Smith lead his team to victories in the final two games of the 2004 season, he managed to throw for 517 yards and seven touchdowns. So both a lack of experience and limited film Smith has not been hyped as much as some of the region's top quarterbacks. Smith has used this spring to launch himself onto the scene as a sure D-1 quarterback.

"My coach told me he thought I was as good as any quarterback around, I went to a combine at Penn State and I got selected to work in a group with Devlin, Frazer, and Ricker and I think I did as good as any of them," Smith said. "I feel my arm strength is as good as anyone's."

Smith has received interest from teams such as Akron, Toledo, Princeton, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Iowa, Eastern Michigan, and North Carolina. Smith though would like to stay relatively close to home.

"My dad would like to be able to come to my games," Smith said.

Although they haven't shown a lot of interest Penn State is at the top of the pile for Smith

"I grew up as a Penn State fan, my brother-in-law is from Williamsburg so I have been going to one-two games for about the last five years," Smith said. "I would like to see them show some interest, I like the people there and the atmosphere is awesome. I have some other good programs showing interest like Pittsburgh and Michigan."

Smith has also attended his share of Pittsburgh games as well.

"I've been to probably ten games, Heinz Field is real nice, and my family lives here," Smith said. "I love the Palko's Bob and Tyler."

Smith had the chance to work with Bob and Tyler Palko at the Metro-Index camp, both had positive things to say about the young quarterback.

"Tyler said he really liked what I was doing," Smith said. "Bob told my dad that I looked great out there."

Smith will have his chance to shine in front of the eyes of Scout.com and several college coaches as he is set to attend the Scout.com All-American Invitational at the University of Akron this Saturday, May 28th .

Scouting Report: I don't get giddy over many quarterbacks, but it's hard not to get excited about the potential of Smith. I have seen all the great QB's in this class and I would put Smith up against any of them. He possesses all the tools to be a star at the next level, I believe if he transcends those tools into a good senior season he'll have his choice of schools to go to.


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