By Matthew Girard
Killeen Daily Herald
Andre Smith became the latest of a long line of Shoemaker High School football players to move on to the next level as the senior signed his national letter of intent to play football at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark. on Wednesday.
Smith, a 6-foot-2, 190 pound quarterback and three-star recruit according to Rivals.com, said he was relieved to sign his letter of intent.
"It's a great relief because this is what I've been working for all four years of high school, and now that the day is finally here it's a relief," Smith said.
Shoemaker coach Ken Gray said he was proud of his quarterback, who led the Grey Wolves to a 2-8 overall record and a 1-5 District 13-5A record.
"Having a young man like him going and getting an opportunity to play at the next level is a great feeling as a coach, but I'm more proud of him," Gray said.
Smith will join an Arkansas State team that finished 5-7 overall and 3-4 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Indians were fifth in the conference in scoring (24.2 points per game), fourth in passing (203.8 yards per game) and sixth in total offense (379.8 yards per game).
During his senior season, Smith rushed for 682 yards and nine touchdowns and completed 103-of-205 passing for 1,414 yards and nine touchdowns.
Smith said he chose ASU over such schools as Tulsa, Southern Methodist and Central Arkansas because of the opportunity to play quarterback for the Indians.
"Arkansas State really wanted me to play the position that I wanted to play," Smith said. "Tulsa wanted me to play safety and Arkansas State wanted me to play quarterback and the offense is going to be a great fit for me and I think I can be successful there.
"I saw they system that they ran and I could see myself running that."
Although Smith will most likely be redshirted, Gray said ASU was a good fit.
"He went up there and visited and really enjoyed the campus and the coaches, and I think he is real excited about it," Gray said. "Him being a quarterback they will redshirt him a year, but once he gets their system down he'll be perfect for what they do."
Smith was one of 20 high school seniors to sign with ASU and will compete with fellow signee Ryan Aplin (Tampa, Fla.) in the years to come.
Smith said he is going to concentrate on his grades during his redshirt freshman year.
"During my redshirt, I'm going to focus on my grades for sure," Smith said. "I won't have to focus on football as much so I can get my grades straight."
Contact Matthew Girard at email@example.com or (254) 501-7569.