Texas high school football is king. That’s no real secret, evidenced by how the Lone Star State blew everyone out of the water with 164,664 participants playing 11-man football during the 2017-18 school year. The next closest was California (94,286), followed by Ohio (42,637). With that many players to choose from, Texas is loaded with elite recruits ready to change major college football programs all over the country.
Put aside the fact that he’s America’s No. 3 all-purpose back for the 2020 recruiting cycle. Forget that he put up 2,067 rushing yards, 1,018 receiving yards and scored 48 offensive touchdowns as a sophomore and junior. The four-star running back and 96th-best player in the country, according to ESPN, was built for stardom.
After all, his father is Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith.
In June, E.J. Smith took to Twitter to reveal his top five college choices as the recruiting process heats up leading into his senior season. And as you’d expect, speculation has run wild with his announcement.
- Florida Gators
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Stanford Cardinal
- Texas A&M Aggies
Is Florida, where his Pro Football Hall of Fame father still holds the record rushing yards in a season (1,599), a serious contender? What about Georgia, a program known simply as “Running Back U?” Smith’s already taken several trips to Columbus, including watching Ohio State wallop Michigan last season. Even Stanford is projected as a front-runner, according to 247Sports‘ Crystal Ball Predictions.
Smith also holds offers from Alabama, Arizona State, LSU, Texas and USC among many others around the nation.
His dad is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher (18,355 yards) and holds records for rushing attempts (4,409) and rushing touchdowns (164), plus he won three Super Bowls and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1993. With a father like that in his corner, there’s nothing that Smith won’t be able to handle as his game continues to improve with time.
Then again, Smith’s highlight tape speaks for itself. This kid is the real deal all on his own. Wearing that iconic No. 22 jersey certainly helps his cause, though.
UPDATE (Nov. 25, 2019): In the second round of the 2019 Texas high school state playoffs, Smith continued an incredible stretch by scoring four touchdowns and ripping off 164 rushing yards as Jesuit upset defending Texas 6A-2 state champion Longview, 27-25.
With his decision date drawing closer, Smith’s senior season has yielded over 1,100 total yards and 23 total touchdowns despite missing the first two games of the year with a sprained ankle. Smith also combined with teammate Jake Taylor for 267 rushing yards and five touchdowns against Garland Lakeview Centennial.
Dallas Jesuit lost in the Texas 6A-Division II quarterfinals to Westfield, 38-28.
UPDATE (December 18, 2019): Smith announced on Twitter that he would announce his college decision and sign his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, December 18 inside the Dallas Jesuit High School gym.
From his final five schools, Smith pulled on the black and red hat of the Stanford Cardinal and committed to joining head coach David Shaw’s Pac-12 Conference program.