L’Christian “Blue” Smith’s high school football career is over, but he’s not done suiting up for the Wayne Warriors.
The Ohio State verbal commitment plans to play basketball this season instead of graduating early and enrolling in college in January. He tweeted the news Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Smith is a four-star football prospect rated No. 119 nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings.
On the hardwood, he was Wayne’s leading scorer (17.0 points per game) and rebounder (10.0 rpg.) last season, finishing second in the GWOC in the latter category.
RELATED: Wayne hires new basketball coach
This fall on the football field, Smith was third in the GWOC with 869 yards receiving. He caught nine touchdowns passes and averaged 16.1 yards per catch.
Smith will be continue a long tradition of Warriors becoming Buckeyes.
At least one Wayne alumnus has been on the Ohio State roster every season since 2000, when John Hollins and Will Allen were freshmen. That also includes Robert Landers, a third-year sophomore defensive lineman for the Buckeyes this fall.
“I’m excited, man,” Smith said in October. “I mean there’s a tradition here. If you go to O-State from Wayne, it just adds that extra level to your name. It’s just all about making big plays, man. I just try to make big plays. That’s all I want to do.”
RELATED: Smith talks Senior Night and more
When he’s not playing sports, Smith is already trying to become a leader in the community as well.
He and his father, Lorenzo, have started a foundation called Blue5Print9.
“We have a lot of different charities we donate to,” he said last month. “We recently donated some cleats to Jefferson High School. Their players didn’t have cleats, so me and my dad raised some money to get them some cleats.”
Their current focus is trying to prevent teen suicide.
“I had a friend that recently killed himself, so that’s kind of hit me home,” Smith said. “So I’m using my foundation to make a difference in people’s lives, whether they’re living in poverty or having suicidal thoughts. We’re just trying to help as many people as we can. There are so many things you can do to help out, and I just want to hit them all.”
Long-time Wayne football coach Jay Minton said he sees Ohio State as a great fit for Smith on and off the field.
“No. 1, they will let him develop into the best he can be because the development program up there with (strength coach) Mickey Marotti and what they do with their ‘Real Life Wednesdays,’” Minton said. “They teach ‘em so much more than being a football player, so that’s gonna bode well for Blue, and then I just think every day in practice he’s gonna be better and better.”
“He’s the type of young man that is extremely competitive and wants to get better every day, so I think that’s a great combination for him. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy and be what we hope and pray he’ll be.”
Minton called him “a dynamic athlete and a dynamic young man.”
“The scary thing about Blue is, man, he’s still got so much growth to go,” Minton said. “That’s scary because he can do some spectacular things out here. He’s multitalented.”