Daylan Smothers, a former Mr. NC Football, is leaving Chambers High. Here’s what’s next
By Langston Wertz Jr.
Official pickup from NewsBreak.com and CLICK HERE for the original post…..
Chambers High running back Daylan Smothers, a top 25 national recruit at his position, will not play his senior season with the Cougars.
Smothers, 17, told the Observer he de-enrolled from Chambers last week and enrolled at West Charlotte last Friday. Smothers said he is moving in with his mother, who lives in the West Charlotte district. He had been living with his father, who lives in the Chambers zone.
Smothers made the announcement on an 11-minute video posted to Instagram on Monday morning.
In an interview Monday afternoon, Smothers told The Charlotte Observer that coming out of Ranson Middle School, a longtime feeder school for West Charlotte, his family made the decision for him to live with his father for high school because it felt that Chambers would provide better opportunities for athletics and academics. While at Chambers, Smothers became a household name in N.C. high school football circles and played in three straight state championship games while becoming a 4-star national recruit.
But when he went to a basketball game at his old middle school recently, a student there put a thought in his head.
“A kid came up to me and said, ‘I’ll see you at Chambers,’ ” Smothers said. “But the whole story is that kid, and others like him, may not be able to make the move like I did. Kids coming from that side (of town), it’s hard to get the transportation to go back and forth. And the only reason I didn’t go to West Charlotte back then was because of what people say — the area that it’s in, and what not. That kid may not be in the same situation I was in, and he has to go to West Charlotte. So making it cool to go and being an athlete at West Charlotte is part of it.”
In Smothers’ video, his teachers at Ranson talk about the impact he had and still has on that school’s community, and how the student-athletes look up to him. Smothers has more than 26,000 Instagram followers and another 4,500 on Twitter.
“What that kid said to me really stuck on my mind,” Smothers said. “I thought about that and asked my middle school coach how would he feel about me coming to West Charlotte. He said it would be a great idea because it would make it cool to be an athlete in this area, and he said I would inspire a lot of kids who come through Ranson. That made a big impact on my decision. There were a few changes at Chambers, too. (Head) coach (Glenwood Ferebee) had left and there was a new staff coming in. I built up a good relationship with those guys, but (my decision) was more so for the neighborhood.”
Smothers said he knows the decision to go to West Charlotte, leaving a team with legitimate state title aspirations, might surprise some, but he’s not worried about what anyone thinks.
“I know what my heart is,” he said, “and I’ve gotten so many messages from kids who say I can’t wait to go to school with you. I prayed to God about it and asked Him to give me a sign to let me know if I am making the right decision, and as long as He has my back and my family has my back, I know I’m good.”
West Charlotte will play Chambers on Oct. 21, a game likely to be played at Waddell High due to construction at West Charlotte. The Lions will add Smothers to a team returning its entire offensive line along with two receivers. In all, West Charlotte — which made the second round of the N.C. 3A playoffs last season — has 14 starters back, including seven on defense.
Smothers, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound rising senior, has been named The Observer’s offensive player of the year for the past two seasons.
After his sophomore season, he was named Mr. Football in North Carolina . Smothers was a top 3 finalist for the award after his junior season.
As a junior, Smothers ran for 1,581 yards and 28 touchdowns and led his team to a third straight state championship game.
Smothers has received scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, N.C. State, Ohio State and Oklahoma, among others.
“He’s got to do what’s best for him,” new Chambers coach Brandon Wiggins said. “We hate to lose him but we got to move forward and get the next guy ready.”
**********Could see a team like West Charlotte facing a team like our local 3-A Defending State Champion Dudley Panthers next season, in the NCHSAA 3-A West Playoffs…Dudley will have a new QB next season, replacing Jahmier Slade, and a possible starting quarterback for the Panthers has transferred in from another Guilford County school…
The Grimsley Whirlies will also have a new QB next season, and the Whirlies have seen a new quarterback transfer in from another Guilford County school…New players at many schools in our area…
Dudley-West Charlotte in the playoffs would be a fun game, and it would make it sort of like the old days, when Dudley was seeing Charlotte Catholic and Elijah Hood rolling into the Dudley Panthers’ Tarpley Stadium, in the West Regional Final/Championship Game….Teams that come over to Lincoln Street better have their “A Games” in their back pockets, or they will be sent packing quickly, on those cold Friday nights, in November and December….**********