Tag:Damarcus Smith
Posted on: March 29, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 3:56 pm

O'Leary discusses DaMarcus Smith release

Posted by Bryan Fischer

UCF head coach George O'Leary discussed not releasing quarterback DaMarcus Smith from his letter of intent after the Knights' practice today. Video courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel.

Regarding DaMarcus Smith asking to be released from his LOI:

"I met with him a month ago. He basically talked to me about the situation. He left me saying he was 100 percent a Knight. Every time he goes back to the Louisville area, it seems to be questionable what's taking place there. His mother called me last night and expressed that they would like a release. I told her, 'No.' They have to do what they have to do as far as an appeal. They have to do that. They're not getting a release from UCF."

On the importance of the LOI:

"To me, you spend a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of hours recruiting a kid. I think the big thing is that you sign a legal document. That's what it is, a legal document. I've never in all my coaching given a release to an LOI. I'm not about to start. He knew that. I told him that. Again, that's why they have such a stiff penalty for people who don't fulfill the NLI."

Whether Smith gave a reason for wanting out:

"Not really, except that he really wants to go to Louisville. That's why there's a long recruiting period. A letter was signed by him and his mom. Again, I think as a head coach of a Division I program, those letters are what commits a youngster to your program, just like it commits us to them with financial aid. Again, as far as we're concerned, it's out of our hands. They'll file an appeal. It's not our decision. Our decision is not to grant a release. I would never grant a release in any situation, really."

On UCF's quarterback situation in the fall:

"That's the other thing you look at. You look at it a couple different ways. Now who is the victim? Because we stopped recruiting quarterbacks when he basically let us know he was involved and wanted to be here, long before National Signing Day. We'll work fine. That's why I'm still giving Rob (Calabrese) some reps today. There's a method to the madness."

Posted on: March 28, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 1:26 pm

DaMarcus Smith asks for release from UCF

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Louisville (Ky.) quarterback DaMarcus Smith has asked for a release from his letter of intent with Central Florida, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com. Smith also faxed a news release to The Louisville Courier-Journal, who first reported the news.

“Today I have filed a release request with the University of Central Florida, asking to be released from my national letter-of-intent I signed in February, due to extenuating circumstances,” Smith said in the release. “I send my apologies to the University of Louisville and the University of Central Florida for this issue. And I would also like to apologize to the Louisville fans and community who have supported me since the day I originally committed to the Cardinal family. I view this as a private matter and will have no further comment until a later date.”

Smith originally committed to Louisville during his junior season but signed with UCF shortly after Signing Day. Following the departure of Miami head coach Randy Shannon, highly touted quarterback Teddy Bridgewater re-opened his recruitment and eventually enrolled early at Louisville. The domino effect caused Smith to start looking elsewhere and he eventually reneged on his verbal commitment.

Rumors that Smith was looking for his release from the Knights started surfacing almost as soon as the ink was dry on his letter of intent. UCF head coach George O'Leary addressed the situation numerous times and insisted that Smith would enroll in May.

"DaMarcus came to me and said he had second thoughts," O'Leary told CBSSports.com. "My experience with DaMarcus was every time he was here, he had a Cheshire grin on. He's happy as heck. His problem is when he went back to Louisville and whatever was taking place there.

"He's fully confirmed and 100 percent. Sometimes, kids just need to be reassured what's going on."

It is not known if UCF will grant Smith his release or if the school will put restrictions on where he may be released to. He threw for 3,227 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior at Seneca High.

Update: O'Leary told reporters after the Knights' practice on Tuesday that the school would deny Smith his release.

Photo courtesy of The Louisville Courier-Journal. 
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:39 pm

Smith 100 percent committed according to O'Leary

Posted by Bryan Fischer

ORLANDO, Fla. - Normally, talking about Kentucky recruiting drama means discussing if a top basketball recruit will pick either Louisville or Kentucky. For the past few weeks however, there has been a bit of intrigue centered on class of 2011 quarterback DaMarcus Smith.

One of the top quarterbacks in the country coming out of high school, Smith was committed to Louisville for over a year before signing with Central Florida at the last minute. Shortly thereafter, rumors began to surface that the talented signal caller had asked for his release so he could transfer closer to home.

Though Smith has not talked with the media detailing his future, UCF head coach George O'Leary tried to clarify the entire situation.

"DaMarcus came to me and said he had second thoughts," O'Leary said. "My experience with DaMarcus was every time he was here, he had a Cheshire grin on. He's happy as heck. His problem is when he went back to Louisville and whatever was taking place there.

"He's fully confirmed and 100 percent. Sometimes, kids just need to be reassured what's going on."

The 6-foot-3, 185 pound Smith was considered the crown jewel of the Knight's highly regarded recruiting class that most consider the best the school has ever signed. Named an Elite 11 quarterback before his senior year, O'Leary thinks the hype and pressure that surrounded his recruitment led to some of the rumors circulating.

"He was such a highly recruited kid," said O'Leary. "In getting him, I thought he showed a lot of great character, which I was really impressed with. As I told him, he's not like the normal kids. He stood up in front of the city of Louisville and told them he loved them but chose to attend UCF. It was a business decision based on what he sought. I said that took a lot."

Smith is expected to enroll at UCF in May.

Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:23 pm

UCF grabs another in QB DaMarcus Smith

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Longtime Louisville commitment DaMarcus Smith finally signed his letter of intent today… with Central Florida, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

A Cardinal commit for well over a year, Smith waivered in the process following the early enrollment of touted All-American quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

"I love the University of Louisville, all the fans and the passion,” Smith said at his press conference. “But for the next four years I'll be with Central Florida."

The 6-foot-1, 190 pound Smith tried to enroll early at Louisville but was not cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse after enrolling at an accelerated high school program. He is the 30th player to sign with the Knights as part of their highly regarded 2011 class.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:31 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 12:36 am

Big East Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Chip Patterson

Before we get geared up with the madness known as National Signing Day, here is a rundown of some of the last minute names and stories in the Big East.

Players to Watch

Kevin McReynolds (pictured), DT, Washington, DC (St. John's College HS): McReynolds is a four-star defensive tackle who has been deciding between Syracuse, Kansas State, UCLA, and Mississippi State. He took his last official official visit to Manhattan, and supposedly has his mind made up. But Syracuse remains hopeful that they can pull in this big-time recruit from the Wildcats.  The Big East doesn't have many big time announcements to focus on, but this is certainly one of them.

Marquise Wright, DT, Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ): Wright was previously committed to Pittsburgh dating all the way back to June. After Dave Wannstedt's forced resignation, Wright re-opened his recruitment. When Rutgers picked up former Panther assistant Jeff Hafley, Wright immediately reconnected with the man who was going to bring him to Pittsburgh. Wright is expected to sign his letter on Wednesday, and it will sound like nails on a chalkboard to Pittsburgh fans.

Damarcus Smith, QB, Seneca (Louisville, KY): Unfortunately for the Big East, this storyline also concerns backing out of a verbal commitment. But instead of a conference rival, the three-star former Louisville commit has been rumored to switch his commitment to UCF. The Cardinals are hoping that Smith will ignore the crowd at his position, and stick with the school close to home. But many sources believe the Knights have convinced him otherwise.

Teams to Watch

Louisville: Before he left Florida, everyone knew that Charlie Strong had a future as a head coach. But count me out of the crowd that figured he would be able to make such an impact so quickly. In his first season as head coach, Strong delivered the first bowl appearance (and win) since the 2006 season. Now Louisville enters National Signing Day with a class that is arguably the best in the Big East. Louisville may have just squeaked over .500 at 7-6, but the future looks brighter than ever under Strong's guidance.

Syrcause: Big East schools will not be well represented in highly publicized hat-ceremonies on National Signing Day, but one of the most notable will be with defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds. The four-star defensive tackle has narrowed will announce his decision between Syracuse, Kansas State, UCLA, and Mississippi State on Wednesday. It would be a huge snag for Doug Marrone, who has gathered a solid class - but lacks one big-time recruit.

West Virginia: West Virginia has been known to slide in and deliver some National Signing Day surprises in years past, so you can never completely ignore the Mountaineers. Arguably the most notable target will be Dominique Terrell, athlete from the DC area who is considering West Virginia along with Miami and Virginia. Terrell will announce at 11:30 ET, do the Mountaineers still have the last-minute magic?.

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

Pittsburgh, traditionally leading the way amongst the conference around this time of year will be crippled in the aftermath of Dave Wannstedt's "resignation." What could have been a really special class fell to pieces with de-commitments after the announcement. Todd Graham has been scrambling, picking up some recruits from Tulsa and trying to lock down whatever he can for the Class of 2011. But with former Panthers recruiting guru Jeff Hafley now at Rutgers, things are getting awfully tough to piece back together in the Northeast.

More Signing Day coverage
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com