Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trae day

Contributed photo
For the last couple of seasons, Birmingham-Lake Balboa quarterback Trae Smith has quietly put together some nice seasons and back-to-back playoff runs for a Patriot team that was once a combined 5-16 before he became an upperclassman.

His production has gotten some recognition in the Los Angeles City Section. But was it enough for him to get noticed in the No. 1 area for the California recruiting scene?

Smith's on-field play should get a four-year school at any level some intrigue. There's a number of dual-threat quarterbacks that shined in California this past year, such as Narbonne-Harbor City quarterback and Washington commit Troy Williams. Other dual-threats like Edison-Fresno's Khari McGee have gotten plenty of publicity and Clovis North's Christian Rossi has also sneaked up on some schools and scouts with his athleticism. But Smith may be one of the more underrated dual-threats in the state.

He's hurt his opponents with his arm and legs. He's shown to be very dangerous on roll out passes. He'll be an effective play-action, pro-style quarterback with his ability to sell the run then roll out to strike down the field. His senior year saw an increase in numbers with 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

An area of concern is his ability to stay in the pocket. Most of his throws were when he got to the outside. This will raise questions of whether or not he can consistently stay in the middle.  His accuracy is also a concern, since his last two seasons saw his percentage barely around 50 percent.

However, in the end, Smith's play brought new energy for a Birmingham program that appeared to be on hard times before he took the reigns at quarterback. His level of play and attitude brought new momentum to the Patriots. He had eight games with two touchdown passes or more. So far, Division-II Fort Lewis College of Colorado has shown the most interest. Smith also sounds like a positive young man who doesn't get too down on himself.


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