Ty Smith, a class of 2012 tight end/receiver from Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County, got a nice surprise recently when the Florida Gators became the first program to extend an offer.
"I was ecstatic," Smith said. "I was shocked to think it would come from the University of Florida. It was like, wow. That was out of the blue."
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Smith, who is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, was credited with 42 receptions for 576 yards as a junior for a team that reached the state championship game. He was named to the All-Region 1-AAAAA team, which was selected by the region's coaches.
Although he played both tight end and receiver in 2010, Smith said he expects to be a tight end in college. According to Smith, his hands and footwork are his greatest strengths. Asked what he needs to work on, he replied, "my blocking."
Florida isn't the only program to show interest. Georgia and Georgia Tech have as well, and Smith is hopeful he will land offers from them. Thus far, he has received positive feedback from both.
Admittedly a lifelong Bulldogs fan, Smith said right now he's "pretty open."
The Florida offer has sparked his interest in the Gators, Smith said. He'd like to check out the school sometime in the next few months, possibly during spring practice so he can get an up-close look at the team.
"I'm going to try to be there," Smith said. "I don't really know much about the new coaches. I've watched Florida on TV. They're pretty good. I'm ready to learn about the academic programs."