- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Senior defensive tackle O.J. Smith (Bossier City, La./Airline) was presented his honorary game jersey Thursday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month selection tour.
Smith, an Alabama commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised game spotlighting the country’s top high school seniors. The game is set for 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.
“I just want to say thank you to all the coaches,” Smith said. “My D-line, everybody else, Charlie, Rah Rah for pushing me hard, my mom and dad just for pushing me hard. Thank you.”
Arline coach Bo Meeks expressed how proud the school is to have his star player in the all-star game.
“We want to thank Under Armour. No. 1, for their commitment to high school athletics and to this game, and also for their selection of O.J. Again, 90 student-athletes throughout the country and to have one here at Airline High School… I can’t tell you how proud we are.”
Smith is excited about the opportunity to play on ESPN, and go up against the best of the best from his home state and nationally.
“I’m looking forward to playing with the best, competing with the best and going against the best ... that’s all. ESPN, you know that’s a big stage. Playing on ESPN is a good opportunity for me. I always wanted to play, you know it’s a dream ... the Under Armour Game. I’m looking forward to playing against Leonard Fournette and Big Cam, Cameron Robinson.”
The 6-foot-2, 315-pound Smith is the 218th-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300 and the No. 18 defensive tackle in the class. He committed to Alabama over LSU, Auburn and several others.