Smith Added To 2021 Football Recruiting Class
BOULDER – The University of Colorado has added another letter-of-intent signee to its 2021 football recruiting class, as Austin Smith, a tight end from El Maton, Texas, signed with the Buffaloes on Thursday.
Smith, 6-foot-5, 235-pound senior at Tidehaven High School, is the 17th high school star in the class, bringing the total class size to 22 when counting transfers (four from the NCAA transfer portal and one junior college). El Maton is approximately 75 miles southwest of Houston just adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico.
Playing mostly wide and inside receiver in high school as Tidehaven usually didn't utilize the tight end position, as a senior he caught 29 passes for 631 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Tigers, who played a full 11-game schedule, including one playoff game, last fall. One of his highlighted plays was scoring on a 64-yard screen pass in a 42-6 win over Brazos. He also played cornerback for the first time (in fact, starting all season), making about 15 tackles with an interception and two passes broken up, as opponents avoided throwing his way (he did not allow a touchdown and only a handful of completions).
He played receiver for three seasons, amassing over 1,000 yards for his career with 17 touchdowns and two 100-yard games, and also played on most special team units. He earned first-team All-District honors as a senior (second-team as a junior), and was honorable mention All-Area his senior year as well, when he also was named to the Academic All-State team.
"Can't wait to get him here," said CU head coach Karl Dorrell. "He reminds me of a tight end I had years ago in my first head job at UCLA by the name of Mercedes Lewis. I think that Austin has this kind of potential. He's a tremendous athlete, for a guy as big as he is, he runs pretty fast. He's going to be a big target, plus he's just learning the position. He has a tremendous upside and we feel like we've found a gem there."
He also lettered four times in basketball (16.3 points per game as a junior in 2019-20) and in track (sprints and relays; personal best of 11.01 in the 100-meter dash). He only played half the basketball season so he could start concentrating on preparing for football in college, but had a game to remember to open the year: he scored 40 points in a 72-66 win over Boling.