Few 2016 football players can claim interest from a small college, let alone a high-major FBS program. Tight end Kaden Smith (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus) has two FBS heavyweights already on his radar.
Smith, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound freshman, has yet to play a varsity down, but he already has had contact with Alabama and Florida State. Smith put his name out with nice summer-camp performances at both schools, and he is looking to make himself a household name in Texas high school football for the next four seasons.
Smith’s name circulated around the state on Friday after Marcus’ efforts in a scrimmage against nationally ranked Dallas Skyline. Against a Skyline unit with five FBS defensive commits – and seven FBS commits total – Smith had three catches for 30 yards and showed versatility as both a blocker and a pass-catching option. Marcus outscored Skyline, 10-7, in two live-scrimmage quarters.
“Middle school didn’t compare to this feeling,” Smith said. “When we played Skyline, I didn’t feel nervous, but I was definitely pumped. After the game, I was so excited.”
Smith, 15, is a big target with solid hands and good instincts. He played tight end, H-back, running back and defensive end as an eighth-grader at Downing Middle School (Flower Mound, Texas). Smith also saw time at quarterback for a game, and he was the team’s punter.
Smith’s interest from Alabama and Florida State stem from his camp appearances. He’s attended Florida State’s summer camps for the past couple of years, and he attended an Alabama camp for the first time over the summer.
“I’ve been going to Florida State since the end of sixth grade,” Smith said. “I’ve had a chance to talk to [offensive coordinator/tight ends coach] James Coley and to [head coach] Jimbo Fisher. This was my first time at Alabama, but I really liked it. I had a chance to talk to [tight ends coach] Bobby Williams.”
Smith and Marcus are preparing for Friday’s season opener against Plano (Texas) West. If all goes as planned, he’ll have a great season, Marcus will make a strong playoff run, and college recruiters will pay attention to him and some of his older teammates.
“I just want to bring energy to the team,” he said. “I’ll do anything I can to win. I don’t like to lose; that’s how I am.”