Tyler Smith discusses Terps commitment
Tyler Smith often found himself distracted during the recruiting process.
Smith, a 6-foot-5, 198-pound quarterback from Wilson Area High School in Easton, Pa., would listen to college coaches throughout the spring. Akron, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn all came calling. But Smith’s mind had a habit of drifting to the sixth school on his list during those visits.
“I mean Maryland’s been number one for awhile,” Smith said. “And I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. All these coaches were coming in and talking to me. The whole time they’re talking, [I’m just thinking] Maryland, Maryland, Maryland. I thought I’m not going to like anyone better than Maryland, there’s no doubt in my mind, so why not verbally commit early?”
“They have two quarterbacks in spring ball right now, which is good,” Smith said. “They signed two in this upcoming class and they’re probably going to sign two in my class, so the job’s pretty much wide open after this year, so we’ll see. ... [The Maryland staff] told me it was a great quarterback situation and the best player is going to play. I know I’m going to compete and maybe [I’ll come in and play] or maybe I’m going to have to sit a couple years and wait my turn. But no matter what, I’m going to compete and do my best.”
In addition to the Terps’ attractive depth chart, Smith said he hit it off with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Franklin, who backed up Wilson coach Bret Comp at quarterback in the early 1990s at East Stroudsburg (Pa.). There are some similarities in their coaching philosophies, Smith said.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we run the same type of offense,” Smith said. “But going over plays and coverages, they use the same terminology and everything. [Coach Franklin and Comp have different personalities], but they’re both really serious about winning and they expect a lot out of the quarterback position.”
Smith, who led Wilson to a 12-1 record last fall, said he’s focused on his senior season and happy to leave recruiting behind. He intends to arrive in College Park next fall with the highest of expectations in mind.
“Well I’m pretty much going to stay focused on academics right now,” Smith said. “Coach Franklin talked about helping him recruit, just to help surround myself with the best players possible and help win a national championship at Maryland.”