Foxcroft Academy senior Hunter Smith left Wednesday for Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to begin two-a-day practices as he prepares for the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl: North vs. South game set for Saturday, January 9.
Smith, who is a multi-sport and academic standout at FA, was selected to the North All-American team in August following a tryout at the Mid-Atlantic Blue-Grey All-America Bowl Super Combine, which was by invite only. His performance at the combine earned him a spot on the North region’s 50-man roster, beating out more than 6000 other combine athletes.
Hunter was sidelined for the entirety of his senior season of football because of injury, but he has spent the last few months rehabbing and focusing on a return to the gridiron. “ With the warmer weather lasting long into December, I was able to get some practice outside on the football field before snowfall,” said Smith. “It gave me an opportunity to practice my positional exercises, while allowing me to get back in my cleats.”
Recently, Smith has been busy with basketball as he leads the FA team in points scored per contest through the first nine games of the season. Nevertheless, he has still found time to prepare for the bowl game. “Recently, I have been in the basketball gym working on catching, weightlifting, speed, and agility after basketball practice,” said Smith.
For the next few days, however, basketball will be on hold as Hunter joins some of the best coaches and high school football players in the country for two-a-day workouts as his North squad prepares for a Saturday afternoon showdown with the South team coached by former NFL safety Ken Stills.
Hunter’s head coach is retired NFL player Arlen Harris, and he and only five other wide receivers on the North roster will be coached positionally by Troy Brown, the legendary New England Patriot wide receiver. “I will be playing wide receiver and will be catching passes from high-level Division I quarterbacks,” said Smith, who will receive targets from San Deigo State commit Lucas Johnson, among others.
Smith, who has yet to commit to a school for next fall, will be joined on the North team by a group of tremendous football players, including commits to Arizona, Nebraska, Navy, Maryland, Bowling Green, Notre Dame, Illinois, and West Virginia. “The level of football is going to be the best that I’ve ever played against,” said Smith. “The talent level of each team is going to be incredible. Many of these athletes have been committed to big SEC and ACC schools and could someday play in the NFL. This is no pickup game.”
The Blue-Grey All-American Bowl: North vs. South game kicks off at 7:30 pm on Saturday, January 9, and live-streaming will begin at 6:30 pm on the Impact Football Network. Click here to access the livestream.