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October 14, 2011
Smith shines on field before booth
Geno Smith has always considered the possibility of pursuing a career in sports broadcasting and Jan. 7, 2012, he will make his national television debut
But Smith won't be holding a microphone just yet. There's still plenty of football in his future, including the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at San Antonio's Alamodome, televised live on NBC.
"It's a dream come true," said Smith, a four-star cornerback and Rivals100 prospect from Atlanta (Ga.) St. Pius X.
On Friday, Smith officially accepted his Army All-American Bowl bid in a ceremony at his school, where he was presented with his jersey for the game.
"I've watched this game since I was 7 or 8 years old," Smith told Rivals.com "I've watched some of the greatest players play in it."
A 6-foot, 180-pounder, Smith was offered by programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Louisville, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech before committing to the Crimson Tide in August.
"I plan on going up to Alabama next weekend when they play Tennessee, [then] LSU and Georgia Southern … and I'm probably going down to Auburn for the Iron Bowl," Smith said. "But I'm 100 percent committed. … Alabama is a winning program. I feel like they can compete for a national championship (this season)."
Smith's statistics for this season were not available, but the speedster recorded 11 interceptions over the past two years thanks largely to his speed (he has run the 100-meter dash in 10.8 seconds) and athleticism (33-inch vertical leap).
Smith, whose mom is a teacher, also gets it done in the classroom. He carries a 3.2 GPA.
"He's always had a good foundation," said Gina Matias, Smith's mother, earlier this year. "There has always been stability, always been time to do homework. I've always asked to see what was required of him and I was involved."
Smith is tight with two other Army All-Americans from the metro-Atlanta area - linebacker Ukeme Eligwe of Stone Mountain and linebacker Raphael Kirby of Stone Mountain Stephenson. He looks forward to competing with them in Texas.
"We talk all the time and went to camp together," Smith said. "We're pretty good friends."
To say the least, Smith is excited about playing in the game.
"It's just a blessing," he said.