HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Miramar (Fla.) sophomore wide receiver Geonte Smith made his way to the South Florida Express tryouts this past weekend to compete against a solid group of rising seniors. He felt the competition from the defensive backs made him better over the two-day event.
"I like the competition," Smith said. "I feel like I went against a lot of great players. I like to compete. It was hard work, lots of good work, and I think I performed well."
Competition is nothing new for Smith, who competed day-in and day-out this past season with the nation's top cornerback, Tracy Howard, in practices at Miramar.
"My sophomore season I went against Tracy Howard every day in practice so it kind of got me prepared for any cornerback I am going to face," Smith said. "I have no fear of competition after battling with him. So now it is just about competing and showing my ability. Tracy Howard helped to get me prepare for every line of scrimmage battle with any defensive back."
Smith is the younger brother of current West Virginia starting quarterback Geno Smith. Like many little brothers, he looks up to his older sibling.
"He is my role model," Smith said. "That is motivation for me to get where I need to be. It makes me work harder."
Despite being in just the seventh grade when his brother was recruited, Geonte remembers the ordeal very well.
"My brother's recruitment was very hectic," Smith said. "You saw coaches around all the time. You had coaches asking who I was, little brother, I was in the seventh grade. It was good though to see that he got a whole lot of exposure because a whole lot of people didn't come to Miramar at first and he helped to put them on the map.
"He went through a lot of phone calls, a lot of mail - I still have stacks of mail for him today - but he showed you just have to stay humble and not rush things," Smith added. "You just have to take the process slowly."
As for the younger Smith, he isn't certain he will follow his brother's footsteps to Morgantown but admits that the program holds a special place in his heart.
"It is kind of a connection because I know a lot of their coaches and I love the town," Smith said. "Morgantown will always be a choice for me. But I am going to look at every school that comes. Whatever school I go to, it should be like love at first sight for me."
With two high school seasons remaining, Smith's recruitment has yet to pick up momentum. He has heard from a pair of schools though.
"My freshman season, going into that summer, I got a letter from Wisconsin and just recently in January I got a letter from the University in Miami," Smith said.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound wide receiver says his goal is to just draw more attention with stellar play on the field at Miramar. With a number of receivers graduating from Miramar this past season and moving onto the next level, Smith's time appears to be now.
"I plan to just keep working hard this spring and after that and prove myself so I get more," Smith said.