Welcome to “Quarterback Week”, where Saturday Down South talks to some of the top QB targets out there for SEC schools. We’ve interviewed some of the biggest names, and we’ll rank them at the end of the week. See who your school is hoping to lure to campus.
While many of us followed our dad to the office as a child, J’Mar Smith’s dad had a different type of office. It had a green surface with white lines everywhere, with big numbers painted on it.
Smith, one of the SEC’s top dual-threat QB targets, remembers when his dad–Kenny Smith–played down the road for the New Orleans Saints. His dad also played on the defensive line for Alabama and was a third-round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. While the Crimson Tide haven’t offered a scholarship to the younger Smith, he has received an offer from his in-state school, Mississippi State. And Ole Miss is certainly paying attention to him, too. He is the high school teammate of one of Ole Miss’ top 2014 signees, C.J. Hampton.
The Meridian (Miss.) QB has visited Mississippi State several times, including earlier this month for junior day. He has impressed coaches after finishing his junior season throwing for 1,915 yards and 16 TDs, along with nine rushing touchdowns.
“It’s pretty good just to know that I have an SEC offer and that they’re very interested in me as a quarterback,” Smith told Saturday Down South. “It makes me a better leader, just to keep doing the right things. I can see that everybody else can see what i’m doing. I’m appreciative of the offer and I’d like to thank State. I’ve watched tape with their coaching staff and they run the same thing we do (at Meridian). We call it in different ways, but we run it with the same type of players. A three steps and out, basically do the same thing they do.”
Not many recruits being pursued by SEC schools have the benefit of a dad who went through the exact same thing around 20 years ago. It’s a nice situation to be in.
“That actually helps me a lot that dad is always there for me with lots of advice,” J’Mar told SDS. “He can tell me what I have messed up on, and he can tell me what’s up and what I need to do. He’s always there for me, and he makes sure I’m working hard to reach my highest potential, and doing it the right way. He loves all of this. He loves Alabama with all his heart, but he’d be proud of me anywhere. He will tell you that the SEC is the best conference ever, it’s known for its defense and now the offense is getting better too. It’s a clash, basically. Every down somebody is flying and grinding it out. You don’t want the easy way, you want it the hard way–and that’s the SEC.
“I’m not going to jump on anything too quick (school wise). I’m going to evaluate everything and see how everything works out, which school gives me the opportunity to be better in life and education.”
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings for high school prospects.