Can't teach speed

What do these numbers have in common? 4.35. 10.53. 21.03. 46.8. Well, they all belong to Woodland Hills (Calif.) receiver prospect Noah Smith, and the 6-0, 175 Smith has a lot of colleges trying to catch up with him. He has seven scholarship offers right now from some very big schools, and whoever gets the talented football player will also get a track guy that wants to run the oval too.

"I'm the person you throw the ball out to and I go get it," Smith told, describing his style. "I'm the deep threat, the speed receiver." Coaches are easily tempted by the speed merchant, with visions of Noah blazing down the sideline of their home stadium with no one coming close to him. "They like what I bring to the table. Most people can be taught things, but like my coach says, speed can't be taught. He says I have that god-given gift of speed so I just have to use it. A lot of people work hard to get it, but it just comes naturally to me."

Smith did double-duty for Taft last year, catching passes and running with the ball too. He caught 42 balls for 990 yards and also rushed for approximately 300 yards. Smith also plays with another phenomenal receiver, Steve Smith (no relation), so he makes the most of his opportunities when they come.

On September 1st, Noah got a flurry of calls from the schools that are hot on his trail. "Michigan State, Washington State, UCLA, USC, Arizona and Tennessee," he said, listing the calls. "Those are the ones that stand out. Washington called too but I wasn't around when they called. They left messages on my answering machine." He has offers from all of those schools. He also has numerous track offers. Smith will do both in college, but "I'm going to be a football guy first," in his words.

While Noah and the Husky coaches weren't able to converse on the 1st, he did get to talk to the head man back during the evaluation period. Back in May I talked to the head coach, Rick Neuheisel," he said. "He told me that I know it's great to have speed, so we would want you on the field to get that ball."

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