Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Recruiting: QBs face quandary with other sports

Largo's Donavan Hale and Clearwater Central Catholic's Jeff Smith Jr. are dual-threat quarterbacks who led their teams to the playoffs as first-year starters last season.

They also are dual-sport athletes who soon may have to choose which sport is best in regard to their college future.

Hale might be an even bigger star in basketball. He led his AAU team to two tournament titles last summer and the 6-foot-3 guard is ranked as the 13th best prospect in the state for the class of 2015 by espn.com. Last month, he got his first offer from Florida State, the same school where his father, former Packer standout Ron Hale, once was a star. The Seminoles' basketball offer does not come with a stipulation to drop football in high school.

"The only thing FSU has said is that they hope I choose basketball and come there to play," said Hale, who has received interest from Mississippi State and Tennessee, among others.

Picking basketball, though, is not a slam dunk. This week, Hale got a football offer from Louisville, his first from a major Division I school in that sport. Hale has no idea what position he would play in football. Louisville's offer was for him to play safety. He could get offers as a quarterback or receiver.

"I like football, too, and I don't care what position I play," Hale said. "It's such a tough choice."

Hale said he will play spring football in May and anticipates picking up more offers then. After that, his focus will shift to basketball and a barnstorming tour of national tournaments and camps with his AAU team, similar to the schedule he had last year.

"Honestly, I can't even say which way I'm leaning because I've got big-time offers in both sports," Hale said. "I probably won't make up my mind until the last minute."

Smith's decision is more clear. He plans to play football, especially after leading the Marauders to the Class 3A state championship game and picking up his first offer from Wisconsin last month.

Other Big Ten schools, such as Indiana and Northwestern, could make offers after watching Smith in workouts during spring football.

Trouble is, Smith might not be there.

He also plays baseball for CCC, which is 19-0 and expected to make a deep run in the playoffs. That means Smith could miss nearly all of spring football, which happened last year when the Marauders advanced to the state semifinals.

This year there is more at stake with his football future. Smith said he should be able to work out a deal that would allow him to be at spring football practices whenever colleges are scheduled to appear.

"It'll be tough not to be there the whole time in football, but I'm talking with the baseball coach (Todd Vaughan) and we should be able to hash something out," Smith said.

CCC football coach John Davis said he will not interfere.

"Of course I would love to have Jeff here," Davis said. "I think it would be important for his college options. But that's between Jeff and the baseball coach. All I know is I'm staying out of it."

Smith said he is not sure whether he will play baseball as a senior.

"If I've already decided which school I'm going to attend in football, it would probably be tough to come back and play baseball," he said.

Bob Putnam can be reached at putnam@tampabay.com or on Twitter @BobbyHomeTeam.

Recruiting: QBs face quandary with other sports 04/05/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 5, 2014 8:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.