How many players do you know that hold offers from 13 D-1 football programs despite never playing a down of college football? The answer is probably not many. Tyreke Smith fits that profile and was on campus yesterday visiting Pitt.
Smith (6-4, 233) moved from California to Cleveland Heights, Ohio a few years ago and has been a basketball player. In fact, this 2018 athlete already holds a basketball offer from Air Force. Following last football season, Smith decided that he wanted to play football. That news must have gotten the attention of many college coaches because Smith’s phone has been ringing non-stop since making that decision.
Over the summer, Smith and his family have traveled to various schools checking them out and getting to know their coaching staffs. Yesterday, Pitt was the latest stop on the Smith families summer tour.
“The visit was great! What stood out to me was the benefit that Pitt gets from being partners with the Steelers. Also, how good and how fast the players are treated medically,” said Smith.
Smith told me that his day consisted of touring the athletic facility followed by a meeting with Pitt DL coach Tom Sims. He ended the trip by driving out to campus and touring the Cathedral of Learning.
“I talked to Coach Sims about what I wanted to get out of this process and about the defensive scheme and technique. They didn’t offer, they want to see some tape,” said Smith.
Pitt didn’t offer, but plenty of other schools, including Cincinnati, Iowa State, Maryland, Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse and Toledo already have. That’s a nice offer list despite not playing high school football.
“I played the sport before (prior to high school) but now I’m just looking forward to taking in as much coaching and knowledge as I can and to work as hard as I can to become the best player I can be. I’m excited to play this season and can’t wait till August 26th,” said Smith.
Smith comes from an athletic family with his older brother being a freshman basketball player at UNC-Ashville and his father, Randy, being a Hall of Fame basketball player at Point Park.
Smith plans on preparing for the upcoming season, but it sounds like this won’t be his only visit to Pittsburgh.
“Pitt is a school that I will investigate in the future. I just want to gain a relationship with more of the coaches and continue from there.”
// Header image: Photo courtesy of Tyreke Smith