Commitment Spotlight: Will Smith
"I was always physically close to the football program," Will Smith said of Wake Forest. "Two years ago when I attended camp I felt like I belonged. It's a small school that's big on academics. It's almost like a bigger version of my high school."
Smith was recruited by North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Maryland prior to his commitment to Wake Forest. He had offers from James Madison and Hampton after his first season playing football.
"Having never played before my father asked Coach (Tim) Billings his honest opinion," said Smith. "I believe his exact quote was, ‘You need to get the kid into football right now'. In the past two years I've built a good relationship with the coaches. I talk to Coach Lobo a lot. I'm excited to have him as my position coach."
It was Tim Billings who extended the Wake Forest offer to Smith to join the Deacon Class of 2012.
"There was about a week before I went public with it," Smith said of the commitment. "I had felt like if Wake Forest were to offer me I would go ahead and commit then. Coach Billings emailed me the offer. I accepted it. I have talked with Coach Grobe a little, but I'll talk to him a lot more when I'm up there this [past] weekend."
In his junior season, his first, Smith made 1st team All-State at offensive lineman, and 2nd team All-State at defensive lineman in Virginia's VISAA Division II. He helped the Christchurch Seahorses to a 7-3 record.
"It's definitely more complicated than just hitting people like you see on TV," said Smith of gridiron play. "It's all about working together. It's much more of a team sport than basketball. I've been working on my ‘football strength'. Coaches always tell me to get out of basketball condition and get into football condition."
Now that Smith has made the successful adjustment from from basketball to football and has his college commitment behind him, he's ready to learn as much as he can before joining the fierce competition within the ACC.
"My main focus is just going to be getting better at football," Smith said. "It's a lot easier with Win Homer on the line with me. He committed to Boston College in May. His father [Ed Homer] is an offensive line guru and our head coach. Of course it's every player's dream to win state, especially in their senior year. We're going to try our best to make that happen."
Smith father, Ted Smith, played baseball at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He says both of his parents are ecstatic about his commitment to Wake Forest.
"They're both very excited," Smith said. "Two years ago my father and I were at a Wake Forest game and left early. On the way out somebody shouted at us that I needed to be out there on the field. He said ever since then he knew that's where I'd be playing.
"My mom's going crazy. She's very happy for me. I'll probably go to some games. They're excited about N.C. State to start the season. Coach Lobo told me not to take my official until after the season because they got so much going on during game day."
The Seahorses will start their season against Covenant in Charlottesville on September 2nd. Smith will wear No. 74.
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