DaMarcus Smith has said all the right things since Louisville received the commitment of Miami quarterback Teddy Bridgewater last month, but things appear to be changing.
Smith, a Seneca High School product, was the first big-name recruit to commit to Charlie Strong and the first Elite 11 quarterback to ever commit to Louisville when he did so in Dec. 2009. He was heralded as the Cardinals' quarterback of the future until Randy Shannon was fired at Miami and Bridgewater began to reconsider his commitment to The U. When the (then) five-star signal caller officially switched his allegiance to U of L, Smith stayed strong, saying that Louisville was where he had always wanted to be, that he was looking forward to the competition with Bridgewater, and that he had confidence in his ability to win the starting job.
A source close to the program says U of L is still "very hopeful" that Smith will stick with his original commitment, but this morning's story from Jody Demling certainly seems to indicate that the Louisville staff has some serious cause for concern.
In another development, Seneca All-State quarterback DaMarcus Smith said he is still committed to Louisville, but he made an official visit to Central Florida over the weekend and said he "enjoyed the visit."
A Louisville commitment since December 2009, Smith hoped to enroll this month at U of L. But after graduating from Jefferson County High School, he didn't get cleared academically by the NCAA Clearinghouse and told reporters that he would enroll this summer.
After visiting Central Florida, Smith said he was "just thinking right now. I have a lot on my mind."
Smith said that the U of L coaches were aware of "what was going on" and that he would have no other comment.
Perhaps the turning point was last week's news that Smith had been denied early entry at U of L, and would not be able to enroll in school until May at the earliest. Bridgewater is already in Louisville taking classes, and will be eligible to participate in spring practice.
Smith never making it to campus would be a bad development for a number of reasons:
1) Competition makes elite talent like Smith and Bridgewater better. I have little doubt that these two would bring the best out of each other.
2) If Bridgewater turns out not to be the reincarnation of Sammy Baugh, a portion of Cardinal fans will be quick with the "if only we had DaMarcus" or "should have stuck with the hometown kid" talk, which won't be fair.
3) He's a tremendous talent and tremendous talent will always find its way onto the field at some point. I have no idea how things will shake out if Teddy Bridgewater and DaMarcus Smith are both on the roster come this August, but I know it would be a good thing.
Stay home, DaMarcus.