WELLBORN — Jeff Smith played for Jacksonville State and became a coach. Like father, like son?
Wellborn’s Jett Smith, a three-time first-team all-state player and 2020 3A lineman of the year in Alabama, announced today his commitment to play for JSU. He plans to sign Feb. 3, national signing day.
Smith had offers from Faulkner, Shorter and Birmingham Southern and a preferred-walk-on offer from UAB. He said he’ll go to JSU on a combination of academic and athletic scholarship money.
“I went and visited all of them, and I just thought Jacksonville State, narrowing it down, was the best decision for me,” Smith said.
Smith starred at quarterback and linebacker for Wellborn, leading the Panthers to the playoffs as a junior and senior. They reached the semifinals his junior year and second round last season.
He finished his high school career with 624 tackles, second on the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s career list. He made first-team all-state as a linebacker in 2018 and twice as an athlete, in 2019 and 2020.
He was the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s pick for 3A lineman of the year in 2020. The ASWA awards back and lineman of the year and considers linebackers in the lineman category.
Smith played safety and quarterback for the Alabama North All-Stars and will play in the defensive backfield at JSU.
“They want to start me out at strong safety, but I also can play in the box, too,” he said.
Smith has weighed physical therapy and teaching/coaching as academic pursuits and leans toward coaching and teaching. His father is a long-time head coach, with stints at Ohatchee, Hueytown and Wellborn. Older brother Judd coaches on the Wellborn staff.
“I’ve always kept that in the back of my mind,” Jett said.
Jett said his dad is excited to have another Gamecock in the family but didn’t sway his son that direction.
“I don’t know if it was as much that he really cared if I played for the same school he played for,” Jett said. “He just wanted me to go for what’s best for me.”