Gamecocks offer instate speedster

The (Spartanburg) Herald-JournalMay 29, 2014 

Steve Taneyhill is coach at Union County High

FILE PHOTO

Union County wide receiver Shi Smith has one more day left in the ninth grade and he already picked up his first major offer.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound speedster received the offer from South Carolina on Thursday. Gamecocks assistant coach Shawn Elliott made the call to Smith at his school.

"It's a good feeling," Smith said. "I feel like it's a really good thing for me. I grew up a Carolina fan."

Smith also has offers from Appalachian State and Towson. He had 35 catches for 425 yards and two touchdowns and added 18 carries for 198 yards with two touchdowns. He recorded a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash.

Union County coach Steve Taneyhill said the door has opened for other offers to follow. He said keeping Smith on the road to success over the next three years of high school will be important.

"I think the most important thing for him is the academic side," Taneyhill said. "He's also still got to produce and play the game, but as a school his academics are a high priority. I'm excited, obviously, because it's South Carolina. Being in the SEC, and a top SEC school, I think big things are on the horizon. But if that's his only major offer, it's a pretty good one."

Smith played primarily as the outside receiver and some at running back last year. Taneyhill said he'll be worked into the offense on a larger scale this year.

"We need to move him around," Taneyhill said. "Last year he played one position. Anytime you have a kid that has his ability, you have to get him the ball. Once he learns all four wide receiver positions, you just don't know what could happen."

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