Smith Making Splash on Recruiting Scene

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Kempsville (Virginia Beach, VA) wide receiver prospect Mordecai “Jay” Smith is used to putting in the time and energy to become the best receiver he can be, and it’s one of the reasons why his recruiting stock has skyrocketed in 2006. He had a good teacher growing up who instilled a good work ethic and sound football fundamentals.

“He’s done a lot,” Smith said of his father, Mordecai Smith. The elder Smith played wide receiver for N.C. State in the late 1970s. “He taught me how to catch when I was real little and basically taught me how to run routes and everything a receiver should know. So he basically groomed me at an early age so I am what I am now.”

Smith has impressed Kempsville head coach Jeff McGowan with the work ethic he has displayed in his first three years at Kempsville. He not only works hard on the field, but in the classroom as well.

“First off, we always work on our grades,” Smith said. “Secondly, we go hard in the weight room. After the weight room, the passing league is right around the corner. We get out, run routes and basically just work hard in the weight room and agilities. I’ve been growing up around the game, so basically I’m used to all the hard work in the off-season. It’s just a regular routine thing.”

What has really helped the 6-2, 195-pound Smith on the field has been to work with University of Tennessee senior C.J. Fayton. Fayton, who hails from Virginia Beach as well and attended Princess Anne High School, played wide receiver for the Volunteers.

“Working with C.J. was real nice,” Smith said. “He brought a lot of things that he learned at Tennessee to teach us. I just worked with him a little bit and he taught a lot of habits like movements with my hands and head-fakes and those sorts of things. Working with him I think stepped my game up to another level because it helped me read defenses and to do the little things that make a good receiver.”

The combination of size, skill, athleticism, speed and work ethic has helped Smith garner national attention on the recruiting scene. He has official scholarship offers from East Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, N.C. State (first school to offer), Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State have verbally

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