Every year in this recurring piece, we keep track of the future of West Virginia football. I’m not talking about the recruits who might one day pledge to the Mountaineers, but the ones who already have, the ones who have committed to the coaching staff and are focused on bettering themselves during their senior seasons before they arrive in Morgantown.
And, each season that we keep tabs on these players, there are typically one or two guys who have a bigger impact than the rest. Sometimes it’s because others are on bad high school teams. A couple recruits may not even be the focal point of their team’s offense or defense. But then there’s the one guy who dominates week in and week out. This year, that future Mountaineer is wide receiver Reese Smith.
The 247Sports three-star recruit has helped Danville (Kentucky) Boyle County to an 8-0 record so far this season as he steals the spotlight on both offense and defense. At receiver – where he will play at West Virginia – Smith already has 33 catches for 963 yards and 13 touchdowns in those eight contests, several of which he never saw a snap in the second half.
Two weeks ago, he earned plenty of praise when his team took on Lexington Catholic, a team that has several Power-Five-caliber players on its roster. Smith shined more than anyone, finishing with eight catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns, averaging more than 34 yards per catch and 73 yards per touchdown reception. And that didn’t even include his 38-yard touchdown run on an end-around.
That 275-yard number broke his high school’s single game mark, which was held by former tight end Jacob Tamme, who played in the NFL for nine seasons. He’s already broken the career receiving yards mark – which was held by current West Virginia coach Neal Brown, by the way – with his 3,747 yards. He’s broken the career touchdown mark of 55, too. This season, he’s on pace to break his own records for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in a season.
And it’s important to note, this is just offense. Smith is a terror on defense as well. Through eight games, he already has four interceptions. That quartet of picks gives him 23 for his career, which ties the school record mark, also held by Tamme. During his four seasons, he has nearly 500 yards simply in interception returns.
Smith’s season is far from over. The team has two more regular season games before they enter the playoffs. There, Boyle County will be a prohibitive favorite to win the state title, and Smith will go a long way in getting them there. Mountaineer fans just hope he brings that productivity and winning spirit with him to Morgantown.