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KCHS star Smith named Class 3A Mr. Football


Before the season Knoxville Catholic’s Harrison Smith was determined to have a monster year. As one of the most coveted recruits coming out of Tennessee all the time and effort Smith has put in is beginning to pay its dividends. That was proven when he was awarded as Class 3A back-of-the-year at the TSSAA/American General Mr. Football Awards luncheon Monday, Nov. 27.

Smith, who was also named Gatorade Player of the Year for Tennessee and the Lawrenceburg Quarterback Club East Tennessee Player of the Year was humbled by the honor.

“It was great to see some of the banners of all the people who won it,” Smith said. “It was pretty cool to see some of the guys in the N-F-L so it was an honor to get it and just to be in the company with some of those names.”

It didn’t come without hard work for the 6-foot-2, 205-pound running back/safety. With a tough off-season workout program designed by Charles Petrone, Smith was in prime shape for a season that produced 1,340 yards on 155 carries and 19 touchdowns.

“I went in and worked out with the team all summer and then I would go over to Petrone’s a couple times a week doing weights and running,” said Smith, who also had 25 receptions for 463 yards and six touchdowns. “The main difference is strength and he helped me with that the most. He helped me get a little bit more weight on me and got me stronger.”

The only thing that would have made this season better for Smith would have been a state championship ring. After leading the Irish to an undefeated regular season and a first round playoff win versus Austin-East, an 18-13 loss to eventual state champion Fulton was a bitter ending to a sweet career at Knoxville Catholic High School.

“It was the worst feeling I could have had and still it is,” Smith said. “It just didn’t turn out the way we wanted to. The seniors this year all worked hard since we started football and I thought we played good for our school. We got to a pretty good level so I guess we are happy with that, but ending it without a state championship isn’t how we wanted it.”

Smith, who plans on playing safety in college, is deciding between Notre Dame and Tennessee. It has been a decision that has been on his mind since the beginning and even though he has enjoyed the recruiting process, it will be a relief when it is over.

“When it starts out it’s pretty exciting, but as it becomes more and more you kind of want it to be over with,” Smith said. “It’s not that it’s hard, its just that it’s always on your mind.”

After a year-long recruiting battle between the two, Smith is prepared to make his decision in early January.

“Everybody thinks they know where I should go but in the end they’re not going to be going there, so it’s really up to me knowing where I am going to be happy,” Smith said. “The main thing is being completely comfortable with the team, the coaches and the area.”

Before heading off to college Smith plans on playing in the East Meets West All-American High School Football Game held Jan. 6, 2007 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.

 

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