By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
The son of a doctor, Durham Smythe is cerebral in almost everything he does.
That's why when it came to deciding where the 6-foot-6, 230-pound tight end from Belton would play college football for the next four to five years, Smythe was understandably deliberate.
A week after making an official visit to Stanford, Smythe was back in Austin for one final question-and-answer session with Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.
Whatever Harsin said worked as Smythe verbally committed to Longhorns head coach Mack Brown during the spontaneous visit late Thursday evening - 12 hours before he wanted to make his decision official during a scheduled press conference this morning.
"Overall, I just kind of wanted (to hear) it straight from coach Harsin regarding what was the exact role he hoped to implement with the tight end (position)," Smythe told the Daily Herald late Thursday, "and I got those answers and I liked them, so from (that point) there was no doubt in my mind."
Having narrowed his list of colleges from more than 15 scholarship offers down to just Stanford and Texas, Smythe admitted he was still "pretty much on the fence" as early as Thursday morning.
"I kind of thought about it during the day - I actually got pulled out of school and talked to my dad during lunch - went over a bunch of things and at the end of the day, it's an overall comfort thing," Smythe said. "I feel like there's more chances for me to be successful (at Texas) and I feel like it's the right decision."
Not that it was an easy decision to make.
"I think he struggled with it, because when you have the type of schools he had offering him scholarships, you can't make a bad decision," said Belton head coach Rodney Southern. "But I think it was a relief, he looked relieved after it was over."
Although he was impressed with Stanford during his two-day visit last Thursday and Friday, Smythe said Texas was where he most fit in.
"There's so much excitement and relief at the same time," Smythe said. "I feel like, obviously, I couldn't make the wrong choice just because both Stanford and Texas are great programs, great schools, great everything, and I'm definitely confident in my decision."
Smythe's commitment is the Longhorns' 13th this spring, following the Harker Heights duo of athlete Naashon Hughes and offensive lineman Darius James, who similarly committed to Texas during an unscheduled visit on Monday.
The decision would reunite Smythe with former Belton all-state quarterback David Ash, who is currently getting reps as the starting quarterback after appearing in all 13 games as a true freshman last season, including six starts.
Ash was the first of several key area athletes to join the Longhorns, followed recently by former Harker Heights offensive tackle Camrhon Hughes and ex-Copperas Cove athlete Duke Thomas, who both enrolled in January.
"It really came down to where I felt the most comfortable and after going back through everything in my head, it was obvious that Texas was that choice for me," Smythe said.
Although Smythe said having Ash already at Texas didn't play an ultimate factor in his decision, it certainly didn't hurt.
"At the same time, it feels good knowing that coming in I already know somebody and I have chemistry with the starting quarterback," Smythe said. "I actually talked to (Ash) today when I first came down to Austin, just caught up on some things, and I'm excited to play with him."