After a standout junior season earned him all-conference, all-region and all-state honors Dominion linebacker Chad Smith spent last week establishing himself as a standout not only in Virginia, but also on the national stage.
Smith, along with several other area players, participated in the Army National Combine in San Antonio, Texas that precedes the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Over 500 of the nation’s best underclassmen were invited to the Lone Star State for seminars and football testing and drills.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Smith was one of 80 linebackers that were selected. He ran a hand-timed 4.77 40-yard dash and posted an impressive 35.5-inch vertical jump prior to the one-one-one competition. In the one-on-ones, he battled tight ends and running backs and used his length to disrupt passing lanes and be physical with the offensive players.
His day of work earned him one of three spots on the 247Sports first-team all-defense although Smith wasn’t pleased with his 40-yard dash time.
“I did enough to make first team but I’m never satisfied,” Smith said. “There are some areas where technique could have been better regarding pass coverage and over time I’ll be able to improve it.”
Smith’s toughest critic is himself and with a tireless work ethic, he is sure to draw more Football Bowl Subdivision offers as he enters his final season.
He currently holds offers from Duke, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Toledo and Charlotte. Big 10 powers Ohio State and Penn State have also shown the hard hitting backer interest.
Last season, he finished with five interceptions, three blocked field goals, six pass breakups, 72 tackles and three sacks. And he’s grown from a 170-pound safety as a sophomore into a 200-pound linebacker.
As a sophomore, he caught 51 passes when lined up as a wide receiver, making him very sure-handed when the ball comes in his direction in coverage.
“He’s instinctive, physical and a freak,” Dominion Coach Karl Buckwhalter said. “There are a lot of linebackers out there, and I am a Jack Lambert fan. He reminds me of him and he is relentless. He’s big, rangy, long and can cover ground.”
— Carroll 6-foot-7, 260-pound offensive lineman sophomore Jauan Williams earned 247 Sports first-team all-offense honors. Williams holds over 10 FBS offers. Spalding wide receiver Brennon Dingle, who sat out last season after transferring from St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), was named first-team all-offense at wideout and leaped to a 39-inch vertical jump.
—Glenelg junior David Robbins was named to the honorable mention all-offense team. DeMatha junior defensive back Tyler Green, who holds offers from Maryland and North Carolina State, was named honorable mention all-defense.
— H.D. Woodson cornerback DuWayne Johnson and wide receiver Parnell Motley also made the trip to San Antonio, Texas for the combine. Johnson has just under 20 offers and is one of the best cornerbacks in the area.
— Briar Woods junior wide receiver Brandon Polk also performed well at the Army National Combine, running a hand-timed 4.36 40-yard dash, and looks to be fully recovered from the broken foot he suffered last season. Here is video of Polk’s 40-yard dash courtesy of 247Sports’ Chad Carson.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 100
With family, friends and neighbors in attendance, Broad Run wrestler Connor Bryant picked up his 100th career win. Bryant wrestles at 182 and 195 pounds and is 29-6 for the Spartans.
— In Anne Arundel County, Old Mill sophomore guard Kaneshia Afi drained an unorthodox game-winning three-pointer in 51-44 win over Severna Park. Afi scored 14 points and Deja Hawkins poured in a game-high 15 points.
— Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League runner-up Langley lost its first game of the season to Oakton, but showed grit while playing without its goalies and several other top-line players. Meantime, Leonardtown is readying for a playoff run as a “pure” squad.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY:
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Boys’ basketball: No. 1 Paul VI at No. 9 O’Connell, 7:30
When the Panthers visit the Knights, it’s always a heated affair, and tonight’s contest is one of the most anticipated of the young season. The last time these two met, O’Connell slipped away with a two-point victory in the WCAC semifinal at American University. These teams have played this series very tightly of late with an even split in the last 10 meetings.
Check out a video preview of the matchup below.