By Keenan Cummings
It’s a tale of two Smiths at the safety spot for the WVU football team.
The Mountaineers are still in need of at least a pair of players at the safety spot and two of them are right in the cross-hairs of the coaching staff to fill the openings.
Same last name but different styles for both. And decisions are on the horizon.
The first is Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Inst. Charter School safety Tykee Smith, a four-star prospect, and one of the top players at his position nationally. Smith has been a regular visitor to campus making a trip during the spring and again for the annual 7-on-7 tournament in late June.
Smith, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, has narrowed his list down to WVU, Baylor, North Carolina, Michigan State, Maryland and Syracuse with a decision set for 2 p.m. on Aug. 23, at his school. The Mountaineers have emerged as one of the front runners for Smith, who called his last trip to campus “amazing.”
A natural bandit or free safety in the WVU defense, Smith is a ball hawking safety that can deliver the hits to go with it in the back end. It comes as no surprise why the coaches have prioritized him.
The other is Columbia (Md.) Wilde Lake safety Osita Smith. A different style of athlete at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, Smith is a two-way athlete at the high school level he is being targeted for the hybrid SPUR safety slot in the Mountaineers defensive scheme.
Like Tykee, Osita was on campus at WVU for the 7-on-7 tournament in June and made a quick turnaround to return for the Showtime Camp in late July.
Given his size and speed combination, Smith is an ideal fit for that spot and a player that the coaches have put a lot of effort into after first extending a scholarship offer.
The Rivals.com three-star prospect also is being recruited by places such as Maryland, Indiana and Rutgers but WVU is believed to be at the front of his decision making process with a choice set for Aug. 30. If the Mountaineers are able to land both of the Smiths, that will likely bring a close to the position.
Football is back in full swing, but recruiting is never too far away either.
Keenan Cummings is the Senior Writer for WVSports.com with the Rivals.com/Yahoo Network.