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April 11, 2006
The will to win
Great quarterbacks that succeed on the next level have to have a lot of different things - great size, great arm, intelligence and many other things. However one of the biggest things that get overlooked by talent scouts is the quarterback's will to win.
South Point, Ohio, coach Dan McDavid said his star quarterback, Chris Smith, has that will and much, much more.
"The biggest thing about him is that he wants to win," McDavid said about Smith, who is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. "He will do what ever it takes to help the team. On the field, the leader comes out in him. He plays quarterback with a linebacker's mentality. He doesn't want to lose.
"He's a winner."
He's also one of the most heavily recruited quarterbacks in the Midwest. With three scholarship offers already on the table from Marshall, West Virginia and Ohio University, Smith has is a true dual-threat quarterback that can kill you in a number of different ways.
He rushed for 700 yards and passed for 1,600 yards as a junior on his way to all-area, all-league and all-state honors. Running the spread offense at South Point has given him the opportunity to showcase his abilities throwing and running the football. But he knows to play in college he'll have to continue to improve his understanding of complex defenses.
"I'm working hard at learning how to better read defenses," he said. "Everybody tries to throw something different at you, and you just have to be prepared for everything. I know I have to get better at reading what they throw at you if I want to lead the team to victory."
McDavid said he doesn't see that being a problem with Smith's work ethic.
"He is a hard worker," McDavid said. "He's always the first in the weight room and the last to leave. He puts in great effort into getting better. He also does very well in school and is focused in success off the field, too.
"As far as a quarterback, he has a cannon arm, can make the first guy miss, runs with the ball like a fullback, plus he makes good decisions with the ball. He can throw 75 yards in the air and he has great touch with his passes."
Marshall, Ohio U and West Virginia jumped into the mix early with scholarship offers. He recently visited Ohio for the Bobcats' junior day and he also talks highly about Marshall.
"I really liked it a lot at Ohio," Smith said. "It was a great time, I got to watch Ohio play Bowling Green in basketball. Coach Gdowski (Ohio's quarterback coach) is a great guy.
"I go to a lot of Marshall's games. They are just right across the river, so it is just 10 minutes from me. Coach Snyder is a great guy. It's close to home and a big time program, but I am just keeping my options open right now."
Other schools that are showing interest are USC, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Iowa and Illinois. At this point, Smith's just trying to find the right fit.
"I am looking for a place that I like and can call home for the next four or five years," he said. "I am going to be working out for Michigan, and possibly Iowa and Illinois later this month. I'm hoping I impress other people that they'll also offer me, too."