1990 Bobby Dodd National Back of the Year
Marquette Smith, Lake Howell High School (Winter Park, FL). rb 5’7” 190 lbs.
In Winter Park, Florida, Lake Howell Head Coach Mike Bisceglia has coached high school football for a quarter century. And he says he’s never seen a player like flashy running back Mar-quette Smith.
He’s certainly never seen anything like Smith’s phenomenal statistics.
Trust us, the stats you’re about to read are not misprints:
—6,7433 yards in three years, a career aver-age of 8.4 yards per carry.
—7,629 all-purpose yards in his career.
—88 career touchdowns, including 62 in his last two years.
In his junior season, the 5-9, 190-pound Smith ran for 2,125 yards and 31 touchdowns, averaging 9.08 yards every time he carried the ball.
Can’t touch that? Try his senior season, in which he ran for 2,409 yards, 31 touchdowns and averaged almost 11 yards per carry. Think about that average — at least a first down every time he was given the ball.
“Marquette Smith is a once-in-a-lifetime high school football player,” said Bisceglia. “He has all the ingredients a coach could desire in a young athlete. He possesses all the talent, ability, skill, strength and speed necessary to be successful.”
“His tremendous strength (leg squats of 745 pounds and bench presses of 385 pounds), his great speed (4.4 in the 40-yard-dash) and his uncanny ability to see the entire playing field,” replied Bisceglia. “Perhaps his greatest assets are his character and his personality.”
Smith is already being compared to Barry Sanders, the Heisman Trophy winner now with the Detroit Lions. Smith also has been the focus of one of the most intense college recruiting battles ever. He chose Florida State over Flor-ida, Clemson, Notre Dame and Penn State.
Like Layman, Smith also has excelled in the classroom, with a solid 3.0 average.
“He is a leader and well respected by his teammates, peers, coaches and teachers,” said Bisceglia. “Marquette motivated and led his team by setting examples through his hard work, his ethics and his enthusiasm.
A list of Smith’s awards and honors fills and entire page. At least two national publica-tions, PARADE and USA TODAY, say he’s the best of the nation. The National Sports Daily put him on the cover in a major feature on that intense recruiting battle for Smith.
“In my 25 years as a high school coach, I have never been associated with a young man as remarkable as Marquette. He is what I con-sider the ‘total package.'”
Rushed for 2,409 with 31 TDs
Averaged 10.95 yards per carry
Named Florida High School Player of the Year
Named USA TODAY Offensive Player of the Year
Named Parade Magazine National Prep Player of the Year