Jack Smitherman put up impressive numbers last year, throwing for more than 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns as the starter at Hialeah American.
But it was not enough to get the attention of colleges.
This year was critical for the rising senior.
Still, there was a problem.
South Florida high schools have been unable to condition and the recruiting dead period was extended through the summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So Smitherman and his family decided to take drastic measures.
They moved to St. Petersburg so he could play.
This week, Smitherman officially enrolled at Lakewood.
“I have no offers,” said Smitherman, who transferred to Miami Edison in the spring before moving into Lakewood’s zone this summer. “I was told ‘we’ll see you in the spring game’…no game. Then I was told ‘we’ll see you in camps’…no camps. This season is a must-play season for me. The only thing I can control is where I can play, so we moved to where football is being played.
“I’m controlling the controllables.”
On Tuesday, Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett said public schools in the county would start practices on Monday for all sports and the regular season would begin in football on Sept. 11. The county also plans on opting in to the state series barring any severe outbreaks of COVID-19 once classes start on Monday.
Smitherman was already training in the area before making the move official this week.
The arrival of the 6-foot-5, 225 pound quarterback is a welcome addition for the Spartans, who had dual-threat starter Greg Spann III, now a freshman at Illinois.
“Jack just showed up at our door,” Lakewood coach Cory Moore said. “We’ll certainly take him in. He looks good so far.”