May 15, 2006

Smith to Follow Taylor?

Rivals100 quarterback Tyrod Taylor is planning to announce a decision sometime in the next couple months on where he'll be headed to college. One player his decision should directly affect is Virginia Beach (Va.) Kempsville wide receiver Jay Smith. That's because according to the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder's father the two star prospects are close friends who would like to play together at the next level.

"Jay and Tyrod are very close and have a sincere interest in playing with each other in college," Jay's father Morticai Smith said. "Both boys feel that they come from good homes and this decision would be as much a social thing as it is an athletic one. I truly believe they'll be going to the same school when it is all said and done because they feel they can be strong together and our families are very supportive of each other."

While Taylor has cut his list to five schools which includes Tennessee, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia Tech, Smith hasn't quite gotten there yet.

"We haven't firmed up a top five, but our list will probably be very similar to Tyrod's," he said. "I know we're not interested in Jay going to Florida, but Jay loves Miami. Notre Dame is also a team in the picture because they always have a very vertical offense. We still have to examine it, but other schools we're considering include North Carolina State, Tennessee, Virginia, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Penn State. I'm in the process of trying to get Jay to narrow his list to five to seven schools."

While Taylor plans to have a decision this summer, Smith looks to be delaying his a little longer.

"At first we were recommending that Jay make his decision before the start of the football season either by August 1st or September 1st," Smith said. "Now we're delaying that until mid-season, but I know we're not going to let him go beyond December 1st.

"I know that Tyrod is planning a decision sometime this summer and wherever he decides will heavily influence Jay. That plays a big role in his decision, but we'll probably wait because we need to make sure the academic situation is right. Jay is looking to major in architecture and there has to be good support for the players and I want to talk to academic counselors."

One other notable point in relation to the two prospects is the fact that Taylor is considering graduating in December. Is Smith looking at that possibility also?

"We haven't really thought about doing that and I don't think Jay could at Kempsville," he said. "Instead we're going to focus on finishing the year strong and he's looking to take some advanced architecture courses in high school next year. I know he is competing for an award and possible certification too."

At the moment, Smith claims his son has 35 verbal offers and 20 of those are written.

"We're actually starting to get a lot of attention from out West," he said. "I can tell the momentum is picking up this month for Jay."

This summer the two families are looking to take some unofficial visits together potentially to North Carolina State, Clemson and Tennessee.

Last season Smith hauled in 17 receptions for 276 yards and six touchdowns. He earned MVP of the Durham All-American combine earlier this spring.



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