There is no secret that Louisiana produces more professional football talent than any other state per capita in America. Louisiana has had that distinction four out of the last five years and it has not gone unnoticed by the University of Utah.
This weekend the Utes landed another top player in the state in junior wide receiver Alfred Smith from Destrehan High School.
Smith will join senior Destrehan quarterback Donovan Isom at Utah. Utah already has three other Louisiana products on the team in Charles Henderson (McDonough 35), Reginald Porter (Amite) and Kelvin York (Dutchtown). Isom was an early commitment to Utah and has held firm with his verbal commitment to the program since the summer despite calls from schools across the Deep South trying to get him to reconsider.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Smith was an all-district selection in 2013 and caught 54 passes for 872 yards and seven touchdowns.
The fleet-footed end turned down scholarship offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Florida, Arizona State, Duke, Tulane, Nebraska and Clemson to verbally commit to Utah and to be reunited on the gridiron with his prep quarterback.
“Utah knows they have some great athletes here in Louisiana and so just because they are not a neighboring state doesn’t mean they won’t come here to get football players, “ Smith said. “It’s a gut feeling for me and it gets me playing again with Donovan (Isom). We know one another very well. I think it’s a great decision on my part to play for Utah and in the PAC-12.”
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham’s father, Fred, was an original member of the 1967 New Orleans Saints. Now Whittingham is back in Louisiana to uncover some of the treasures in a state that produced 404 scholarship football players in 2013.