Laray Smith (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian) certainly knows how to keep a secret.
Word spread last weekend that Connecticut had made a scholarship offer to Smith, but Smith said he received that offer months ago.
“I actually got it when I was a sophomore,” Smith explained. “My coach [Joe DeSiena] said to keep things quiet, but then it got mentioned in the [New York Post]. It took off from there.”
Smith, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior, is considered to be one of the top running backs in New York City. He rushed for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns on 108 carries as a sophomore and said the UConn offer -- his only offer at this point -- came shortly after he sent the school his highlight film.
“They said I reminded them of the running back who just left Connecticut for the NFL [Jordan Todman],” Smith said. “I play a little cornerback, but mainly I'm a running back. That's what UConn is recruiting me to play.”
Smith was at a UConn game earlier this season, and was invited to attend Penn State's game against Illinois on Saturday. He said Rutgers, Syracuse, Buffalo, Oregon and Boston College also have shown some level of interest.
“Those are the main schools sending me mail,” Smith said. “I liked UConn, It's a nice school, and I grew up watching Penn State.”
Smith also runs track and said 4.46 seconds is his best time in the 40-yard dash.
“What I'm known for is my speed,” he said. “If I can get into the secondary it's usually pretty much over. I also think I have good vision.
“As for where I want to go to school, I think it's way too early to be thinking like that.”