Smith plays numbers game as he awaits N/S Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

COLUMBUS — Chris Smith will be wearing his familiar No. 7 Saturday. Times three, that is.

Luck wasn’t on Smith’s side when the jersey numbers were distributed and the former South Point Pointers quarterback will be wearing a running back-type No. 21 when he takes his snaps from center.

“We had a luncheon and I put No. 7 down, but other guys wore the same number. We had to list other choices and my fifth choice was 21,” said Smith.

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“It was the number (quarterback) Heath Shuler wore when he played for Tennessee. But it’s OK. It looks good out there.”

The only number that matters is two which just happens to be the number of quarterbacks on the South team when the Grange Insurance 62nd annual Ohio High School Football Coaches Association North/South Classic kicks off at 7 p.m. at Crew Stadium.

Smith joins Skylar Jones of Middletown as the South’s two quarterbacks. Jones has signed to play at Wake Forest.

“They want to rotate us pretty evenly. I’ll get plenty of playing time,” said Smith.

“But it’s just a big honor to be here. I think I’m only the second or third player from South Point to make the game. It’s the longest running all-star game in the nation, so it’s an honor to be part of it.”

Smith, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Marshall Thundering Herd recruit, is one of 68 players selected to play in the nation’s longest running all-star game.

Smith was a first team all-district selection and second team All-Ohio. He completed 87 of 171 passes for 1,318 yards and 13 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He also ran 95 times for 200 yards.

Among the other players chosen include eight Ohio State recruits including Rocco Pentello of Westerville South, Brandon Saine of Piqua and Soloman Thomas of Westland for the South along with North team selections Dane Sanzenbacher of Toledo Central Catholic, Daniel Herron of Warren Harding, Jermale Hines of Cleveland Glenville, Nate Oliver of Lakewood St. Edwards and Devon Torrence of Canton South.

‘It’s fun. There are a lot of talented guys here. There are a lot of guys going a lot of different places. We have three on our team going to Ohio State. It’s fun being around guys of that caliber,” said Smith.

Not only will Smith get to be part of a great football tradition, he plans to gain some valuable experience.

“It’ll help me adjust to the college game, but there will still be a big jump for me to overcome when I get to Marshall,” Smith said.