December 18, 2006

Smith ready to put past behind him

Cornerback Lionel Smith might have never been offered a scholarship to Texas A&M it had not been for Hurricane Katrina, which uprooted Smith and his family from St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana to Bellaire High School in Houston.

Smith was noticed by an assistant principal who suggested he talk to Bellaire head coach Marshall Law. Due to UIL restrictions, Smith only played in four games at cornerback (a position he had never played before) and played well enough to earn a scholarship offer to A&M.

Smith even took some accelerated courses in order to graduate so he could enroll in College Station in September despite the fact his parents had moved back to New Orleans to rebuild.

However, Smith's transcript was based on Louisiana's grading system since he graduated from there, and when his grades from Bellaire High School were included he had an insufficient GPA to qualify per NCAA requirements. Since Smith did not find out these issues until August, he had to leave his family behind one more time to go back to Houston in order to retake some classes.

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