Thomas Smith, initially a class of 2012 recruit, played in his final high school game last Friday in the VHSCA All-Star Game. However, Smith won’t be heading to Virginia Tech just yet. The 6’5, 220 pound wide receiver will be prepping at Fork Union Military Academy for a semester before finally enrolling at Virginia Tech next spring.
Smith, who was offered a grey-shirt with Virginia Tech’s 2013 class, will be looking to stay in shape before he comes to Virginia Tech. When Smith signed his letter of intent to Virginia Tech he was listed at 6’3, 218 pounds. Since then, Smith has apparently grown a couple of inches, which makes him a very interesting prospect moving forward.
When Smith enrolls at Virginia Tech next spring the Hokies will have almost a completely new set of wide receivers. Senior wide receivers Marcus Davis, DJ Coles, Corey Fuller, and Dyrell Roberts will be gone and a new batch of receivers will be needed to fill their collective void.
This is where Smith comes in.
At 6’5, Smith would prove to be a very tough match-up for corners on the outside. For comparison, Virginia Tech flanker Marcus Davis is 6’4, 228 pounds. Granted, Davis is currently faster than Smith would be if they were to run similar routes together, but Thomas Smith has yet to enter Virginia Tech’s strength and conditioning program.
Now you might be thinking, “What if Thomas Smith puts on more weight once he gets into the strength and conditioning program? What if gets up to 230 or 240 pounds? Could he play tight end for Virginia Tech?”
That reality is something that Smith is fully aware of, and apparently is taking steps to prevent. Smith seems to have his eyes set on playing wide receiver in college and is actively working on maintaining that 220 pound frame, which is apparently mostly muscle. Virginia Tech also has some younger tight ends on the roster, which could allow Smith to pursue playing time at either flanker or split end. Virginia Tech’s current roster is fairly light in terms of younger depth at those two positions, but with players like Joel Caleb, Mark Irick, and Joshua Stanford coming in as members of Smith’s initial 2012 recruiting class, the Hokies could be well off after a year or two of development.
With his size and ability (Smith runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and has a 33 inch vertical) Smith could be in a position to fight for a starting role once he arrives in Blacksburg officially. He’ll be able to participate in spring practices and the spring game (unless it gets rained out like this year), and should benefit greatly from the extra practice time. If Virginia Tech could line up a 6’5 freshman out wide next season he could definitely help out Mark Leal (assuming Logan Thomas leaves for the NFL after this season) by giving him a big target to throw at. In fact, Smith would be the tallest wide receiver Virginia Tech has had in a long time.
If Smith can improve his speed over time he could develop into a dominant weapon for Virginia Tech. All we can hope for is a seamless transition into the college game. Virginia Tech’s coaches have developed some quality wide receivers over the years and none of them have had the body frame that Smith has right now. Here’s hoping that the coaching staff can develop this kid into a monster.