by Lorenzo Reyna
With his calm demeanor, powerful right arm, mobile dexterity and lastly his facial features, 6-foot-4, 190-pound Stone Smartt of Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro High School looks like a taller version of Seattle Seahawks superstar quarterback Russell Wilson. Well, the state champion and Class of 2017 prospect Smartt said he happens to get mistaken for the 5-foot-11 Super Bowl champion whenever he goes out in the public.
“They say I look like him, actually. People mistake me for him,” Smartt said, laughing.
Smartt, though, embraces the comparison – and is looking to produce his own breakout story. The junior was not only a newcomer to Passing Down on Feb. 28 at Chabot College, but so was his team 916 Showtime at the Northern California regional. The squad mainly consisting of players from state powerhouses Del Oro and Folsom High proved to be no push over.
With Smartt helping lead the offense, 916 Showtime blanked both of their opponents during pool play by a combined score of 54-0, earning the No. 1 seed
in the Power and Endurance pod in the process. Smartt, who guided the Golden Eagles to a 10-6 mark and the CIF State Division II-AA championship last year, entered the stacked 40-team field with the hope that he can show off his skill sets to the competition. He takes pride in four different areas.
“My smarts on the field, my IQ, my athletic ability and my God given talents,” Smartt said. “I’m blessed to go out on the football field and use it all.”
Under the lights in the 916, Smartt displays his Wilson-like capabilities. He shows a sense of calm in the pocket before firing the deep ball. He doesn’t look rattled when he’s under duress and makes defenses pay for rushing him; by rolling out and attacking downfield or by calling his own number and scrambling for the touchdown.
Smartt started all 16 games for Del Oro, combining for 2,884 yards throwing and running and scoring 19 times. Despite his team’s impressive tournament debut and winning a state championship in shoulder pads and helmet, Smartt’s recruiting period has been in slow motion with no scholarship offers to report as of now.
“I am getting interest from UCLA, Columbia and Yale (via letters). Also a little looks from Oklahoma State,” Smartt said.
The 4.0 student also arrived to Chabot College with the hope of seeing his exposure skyrocket.
“It (exposure) is big because that’s where a lot of coaches want to hear from. I know there’s coaches who will say that 7-on-7 isn’t that big. But a tournament like Passing Down helps you get exposure,” Smartt said. “It helps you a lot as a quarterback. It helps you go through your progression, your reads, getting the timing down with your receivers and picking the defense apart.”
While 916 Showtime was eliminated during the pod playoffs, Smartt said he still feels good about the talent level on his team.
“Teams can overlook us. But we can shock them because we’ve got the athletes. We got dudes and we can play,” Smartt said.