SEFFNER, Fla.- Armwood linebacker Petey Smith is already one of the top players in the Tampa Bay area. The 6-foot, 240-pounder broke a school record with 164 tackles as a sophomore and is poised to make the transition from high school standout to major college prospect as a member of the Class of 2009.
"I am successful by being aggressive and running to the ball," Smith said.
Smith's play has grabbed the attention of some college programs already. South Florida and Florida have both indicated than a scholarship offer is forthcoming as soon as they can send it.
Given their location, the Bulls and Gators both have a shot at Smith.
"It's important for me to stay in-state," Smith said.
Smith's dream school is Florida State (the Seminoles are expected to be major players here once the time comes) and he also is interested in Miami. Not once during his interview did he mention an out-of-state program.
Smith, who Armwood coach Sean Callahan calls "one of the best players" he's ever coached (that includes last year's No. 1 overall prospect in Florida, defensive tackle Torrey Davis and former Florida Gator offensive lineman Mike Pearson), hopes to set another tackle record next season.
"I want to beat the record again," Smith said. "I also want to cut down on my missed tackles and read the plays better."
During his sophomore season, Smith was an All-State and All-Suncoast selection. He is the younger brother of Class of 2008 running back prospect Eric Smith.