When Anthony Smith was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament last month, the senior for Desert Pines’ football team worried college coaches would pull his scholarship offers.
In fact, Smith was so concerned that he briefly considered not even telling recruiters about the injury.
“I finally had to break it down to some of them,” Smith said.
Smith, of course, had no reason to stress over his future. The 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pound defensive end remains a coveted prospect despite missing the entire season and currently is weighing scholarship offers from seven Football Bowl Subdivison schools.
“I got to see how college coaches stand, and my offers are still on the table,” Smith said Tuesday. “It was reassuring. It just took a weight off my back because that’s what I was mainly focused on after I found out.”
Smith earned first-team all-state honors after recording 16 sacks as a junior and was ranked in the preseason as one of the state’s top recruits for the class of 2016 by every major recruiting service.
He suffered a noncontact injury to his left knee early in the Jaguars’ scrimmage against Desert Oasis, a week before the season opener against Arbor View on Aug. 28.
Since undergoing surgery, Smith has become a vocal leader in practice and during games for Desert Pines (4-0), which is ranked No. 4 in the Southern Nevada Football Coaches Poll and is the prohibitive favorite for the Division I-A state title.
“The first week was the hardest. I didn’t know how to take it at first,” said Smith, who didn’t miss a game during his first three varsity seasons. “It’s actually kind of good because I get to see the game from a different perspective. I wish I could suit up, but I like helping out my defensive guys.”
Smith is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sports.com. He said he expects to make official visits to Colorado State, San Diego State, UNR and Washington State and also has scholarship offers from Colorado, Hawaii and UNLV.
Smith is unsure whether he will take an official visit to UNLV but cited the Rebels as one of his top three schools.
“The initial shock was hard on him,” Desert Pines coach Tico Rodriguez said, “but the way he’s handled it, with going to therapy after the surgery and just being positive and being a big brother to the younger guys, it’s really showed a lot of growth in him as a person. I’m really proud of his maturity and his growth as a leader.”
* GAELS’ TYNDALL RECOVERING — Bishop Gorman senior Kekailoa Tyndall suffered a broken right leg during the Gaels’ 52-13 victory over Long Beach Poly (Calif.) on Friday and will miss the remainder of the season, Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said.
Tyndall broke his tibia and fibula during a kickoff return with 3:42 remaining in the first quarter, and the game was delayed for several minutes. The 5-9, 187-pound linebacker made six tackles in four games for Gorman, which remained No. 1 in the latest USA Today Super 25 poll.
“He had surgery Saturday,” Sanchez said. “Everything went good, and they expect him to make a full recovery.”
* RECENT COMMITMENTS — Bishop Gorman senior Raychel Stanley to Loyola Marymount for women’s basketball. … Arbor View senior Bishop Jones to Southern Utah for football.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ