Last week, Virginia Tech landed another commit in the Class of 2018, three-star ATH Kaleb Smith from Richmond, Virginia. Smith held offers from Wake Forest, UVA, Temple, ECU, Richmond, Campbell, and Norfolk State. Over the summer, Smith committed to Wake Forest where he would have played wide receiver for the Demon Deacons. However, Smith recently decommitted from Wake Forest and has now committed to Virginia Tech with a preferred walk-on spot.
Kaleb Smith was a key player for Patrick Henry High School’s success in the 2016 season as the team went 8-4. Smith, who played wide receiver and safety, was a red zone threat on the field with 15 receptions including 7 touchdowns. Here is a link to his highlight tape.
The Tech Lunch Pail was grateful to Kaleb Smith for giving up his time to talk about his commitment to Virginia Tech and more.
Evan Hughes: Kaleb, first of all, congratulations on committing to Virginia Tech. Is it nice to have this process finally over with?
Kaleb Smith: I’m excited to be one step closer to achieving my goal of playing football at the collegiate level. The process wasn’t the easiest but I know that I am stronger and even more committed to being the best player I can be because of it.
Evan: You committed to Wake Forest this past summer. What made you change your mind from Wake Forest to Virginia Tech?
Kaleb: My older brother, Justice, goes to Virginia Tech. Because of that, I’ve visited Virginia Tech more than any other school over the past three years. It feels like home. It’s hard to find an atmosphere that I can compare with that of a Virginia Tech football game. It’s big time and that’s the level that I want to play on.
Evan: Why did you choose a preferred walk-on spot at VT over scholarships at schools like UVA and Wake Forest?
Kaleb: Because I’m confident that I can earn a scholarship at Tech. The other schools are great schools, but I truly feel like Tech is the best fit for me both athletically and academically. Virginia Tech was always my first choice, and I truly believe that if I hadn’t injured my shoulder, I would’ve earned a scholarship from Tech at their camp. It’s really not about what I’m saying no to, it’s more about what I’m saying yes to. I’m also fortunate that my parents believe in me too.
Evan: What has the coaching staff been like that has recruited you to Blacksburg?
Kaleb: The coaches have been great. They invited me up for visits where I was able to sit down and have lunch with Coach Wiggins and Coach Scott. I also met with Coach Fuente about this opportunity.
Evan: Wake Forest recruited you to be a wide receiver, but you’ve also played other positions in high school. Has Virginia Tech identified what position they’d like you to play yet?
Kaleb: I believe that I can come in and contribute as a wide receiver. I think I have huge upside. I’ve studied top receivers at the collegiate and NFL level and I know that, on-paper, I have what it takes to be successful in that position. I’m 6’3”, 205 pounds, running a 4.5 forty yard dash, and I have a 41 inch vertical jump, with 9 and 3/4 hands and 33 inch arms.
Evan: I know that you’re recovering from surgery due to an injury you suffered your junior year of high school. How has the recovery process been for that and how are you feeling?
Kaleb: Yes, I injured my shoulder during a baseball game last May, and decided to have surgery and forego my senior season in high school. It was a difficult decision, but I was more focused on being 100% healthy going into college. I’m currently in my last month of rehab and I will enroll at Virginia Tech in January fully cleared and ready to go. I’m working out five days a week to get my body in shape. In fact, I recently worked out with my cousin, Kerry Wynn (defensive end for the New York Giants), while he was home during his bye week.
Evan: As a recruit, what about Virginia Tech stood out to you most that made you commit here?
Kaleb: As a recruit, the tradition of winning, which is represented in their 25 consecutive years of playing in a bowl game. It says a lot about the school that plays in one of the toughest conferences to be able to reach a bowl every year.
Evan: How excited are you to call Virginia Tech home?
Kaleb: It’s hard to find an atmosphere that can compare with that of a Virginia Tech football game. The energy in the stadium is amazing. I want to be a part of that. I also want to have the opportunity to compete against the best talent. I’m confident that I have what it takes to play and excel at this level. Now, it’s just about me proving that I deserve to be here. I’m excited to be a Hokie. I’m anxious to get back on the football field. I want to be the best and to me, this is just the beginning.
The Tech Lunch Pail thanks Kaleb for his time and would like to officially welcome him to Virginia Tech.