When Central senior running back Orwin Smith began weighing his college choices, it came down to who was No. 1.
That is, who valued Smith the most."I kinda narrowed it down to what schools had me No. 1," Smith said. "Georgia Tech, Vandy and Southern Miss — I liked Georgia Tech. I'd been up there four or five times and they have great coaches and the home crowd was great fan support."
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson's run-based offense was also an attraction. Those factors will result in the Yellow Jackets receiving Smith's signature on Feb. 4, 2009 — national signing day for high school seniors.
Smith ran for 1,252 yards on 214 carries and scored 18 touchdowns for Central, which finished 4-6 in 2008.
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The Central running back said playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference also gives him the opportunity to play in front of family from Virginia and from Phenix City.
"I have a daddy (Stacy Herron) that lives in Virginia," Smith said, "so by playing in the ACC, when I have away games he can pretty much make some games. And my home games, my family down here in Phenix City can be in Atlanta for games."
Central coach Ron Nelson said Smith's work ethic was a great example for the other players on the Red Devils team.
"The biggest thing about Orwin is his work habits," Nelson said. "He was going to lead by example in the weight room, the playing field or off the field. Our juniors and sophomores learned a lot from Orwin.
"He laid it on the line. Orwin averaged carrying the ball 21 times a game and probably could have carried it more."
Smith brings the area's number of commitments to ACC schools to three. Northside's linebacker-running back John Drew and Shaw running back Kyle Griswould have both committed to sign with Duke.