This Maryland high school player profiles series is presented by the U.S. Army.
By Liz O’Connell, CountySportsZone.com
Isaiah Smith never thought he would find himself putting on cleats instead of basketball shoes. But when his natural ability shined on the football field, he knew he couldn’t step away.
Smith originally wanted to focus on basketball at James Hubert Blake High School (Silver Spring, Md.). He wanted to be different from his brothers who all played football.
It was during his sophomore year that Smith saw his potential as a football player. Each year he improved, eventually becoming one of the best players in Montgomery County.
Smith shined at multiple positions, with his role shifting each year. He played quarterback as a sophomore for the junior varsity team, but he switched to wide receiver when he moved up to the varsity squad as a junior.
Smith developed into one of the top wide receivers in the county, but he moved back to quarterback as a senior due to the graduation of the team’s starting signal-caller from a year prior.
“He was hesitant at first, but he realized if he didn’t [play quarterback], they wouldn’t have a good year,” junior varsity coach Bryon Marshall said. “Instead of complaining, he jumped right in and learned the plays.”
Smith spent time during the winter and spring ahead of his senior year to better learn the position. Smith led his team to the MPSSAA Class 3A playoffs and earned first-team All-County honors by Montgomery County Public Schools coaches.
Smith showed he is the definition of a team player by stepping up for the team, according to Marshall.
“He was a straight leader, a team player,” Marshall said. “He was always picking up players. He never got too high, never got too low. Our team was actually playing for him.”
Smith will continue playing football as a wide receiver at Bowie State University.