MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When Ligonier Valley (Pa.) prospect Collin Smith drove to West Virginia’s campus Tuesday, he did so intending to give a face-to-face commitment.
And so the Mountaineers gained their sixth pledge for the class of 2017, and their third in the past 72 hours.
Smith played quarterback last season in leading Ligonier Valley to nine wins and the second round of the Pennsylvania Class AA state playoffs, but college recruiters project the 6-foot, 195-pounder as a safety.
He threw for 1,958 yards, rushed for 757 yards and combined for 37 touchdowns, while making 74 tackles and three interceptions from his secondary spot.
He’s a two-star prospect according to Rivals and Scout, while 247Sports grades him a three-star.
Smith made news last September upon being offered by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. At the time, Smith told The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa., that his “dream is to play in the Big Ten.” But Louisville and West Virginia extended offers in February and Smith attended WVU’s junior day in March, strengthening a bond with newly hired safeties coach Matt Caponi, himself a Western Pennsylvania native.
On Tuesday he came to tour the campus and give Caponi the news in person.
Smith has nine offers overall, including Boston College, UConn, Temple and Colorado State. He told Rivals.com writer Keenan Cummings that WVU won out because “I felt they wanted me there.” Pegged to start out at free safety, Smith also could become an option at Spur and Bandit.
He becomes the fourth defensive commitment for the Mountaineers’ 2017 class, joining cornerback Alex Woods of Lackawanna (Pa.) College, safety Eugene Brown of Stone Mountain, Ga., and linebacker Maverick Wofley of Morgantown.