Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain has made a huge point of establishing Colorado as the team's main focus when it comes to recruiting. Last cycle, the Rams signed five in-state targets. This time around, the Rams got their first Centennial State pledge in Castle Rock (Colo.) Douglas County do-everything running back Trey Smith over the weekend.
Smith, a teammate of 2013 Ram signee Blake Nowland, finished second in the state last year with 1,732 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Huskies. He also excelled as a pass catcher and kick returner.
Douglas County head coach Jeff Ketron said the Rams are getting a star in Trey Smith.
"We've had over twenty division-one athletes come from Douglas County since I've been there. Trey is by far the best pure athlete we've had," Ketron said. "And I really, truly believe -- and I told Coach Mac this -- I truly believe that he will have an immediate impact at CSU. I mean he just has something special. I know a lot of people say that, but I'm serious, he has 'something' that other kids don't have. He just has it. He gets it. It's hard to describe. He has that 'it' factor and he's going to win games because of it."
The CSU staff had certainly known about Smith's abilities from his standout junior season, but seeing him up close in person last week provided the final analysis they needed to offer him a scholarship on Friday morning.
"Obviously, he's the leading 5A rusher returning this year. He ran for 1,700 yards and he was the no. 1 all-purpose athlete last year in 5A football. Then he goes into the state track meet and runs a 10.61 (100 meters) and I think that recruits itself.
"But I thought he had a fantastic camp. He played a little bit of wide receiver, a little bit at free safety, but primarily at running back. You know, he's 6-1, 175 and all those things stack up in his favor… They offered him during camp. They're recruiting him as an athlete because I think he has the tools to play running back, wide receiver, an athlete, or a defensive back. And I think he can help in the return game. Not too many kids out there run 10.61s."
Smith had previously been offered by Wyoming and New Mexico State. But it's fairly safe to say that CSU was the coveted offer he had been waiting for and it didn't take him long to commit to Coach Mac and the Rams.
"Trey was obviously very excited. That was his third offer; he had been offered by Wyoming and New Mexico State before that, but he really wanted to go to CSU. So, he was really taken aback by it. Coach Mac offered him and he went home, wanted to talk to his parents about everything. Then he called coach (Marty) English yesterday afternoon."
Does Ketron feel Smith is solid in his CSU pledge?
"Oh yeah. He's done. It's over," he said matter-of-factly.
In the classroom, Smith holds a 3.4 GPA. Aside from his physical abilities on the field, Smith has earned a leadership role on one of the state's top teams year-in and year-out.
"We have a pretty intricate process for kids to become a captain in our program that they have to go through. We have an interview process with our team and then our coaches. Trey was named captain in January. You have to have a great deal of character from a peer standpoint and a coaching standpoint. He's a two-sport varsity athlete and he's a very humble kid. When you contact him, you know, he won't say much about himself or anything like that. He's a neat kid."
Smith is the first in-state pledge for the Rams in the 2014 recruiting cycle and their fourth overall commitment.