Smith leads seven Tigers receiving VaSID honors

Published 2:29 pm Thursday, December 20, 2018

Hampden-Sydney College’s (H-SC) football team was recognized seven different times in the course of the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) handing out their 2018 College Division all-state football honors, with Tigers freshman running back Kaleb Smith being named the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Tigers making the 2018 VaSID all-state first team included senior defensive lineman John Kline, senior safety Chad Vanlandingham and junior wide receiver Major Morgan.

H-SC players making the second team were senior quarterback Alec Cobb, junior linebacker Griffin Davis and junior offensive lineman Andrew Grage.

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Marty Favret, head coach of the Tigers, was pleased with the level of attention his team received from VaSID.

“I think it’s good for the program, and obviously Kaleb was deserving,” he said. “He’s a terrific player. … I’m happy. I think we represented the conference well this year, and we have some good players, and they were all young, and they’re all coming back, so that’s a good thing.”

Hampden-Sydney finished 4-5 overall this year, including 4-3 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), falling just short of the ODAC championship and its accompanying NCAA Division III playoff berth.

A press release from H-SC Athletics highlighted the 2018 statistics of Smith, noting that he was also named the 2018 ODAC Rookie of the Year and was an All-ODAC third-team selection. Officials stated that he finished sixth nationally at the NCAA Division III level in receptions per game and 22nd in all-purpose yards.

He was seventh in the ODAC with 602 yards rushing on 147 attempts, with seven touchdowns, the release cited. He was second in the conference in receiving, with 71 receptions for 661 yards, adding two touchdowns. He was fourth in the ODAC with 1,263 all-purpose yards and third in the ODAC with his all-purpose-yards-per-game average of 157.9.

Smith expressed joy and gratitude for receiving the VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year honor.

“It’s a huge blessing,” he said. “I’m a man of faith, and I just thank the Lord for everything that He’s doing for me and everything that He continues to do for me …”

In addition to God, Smith thanked his family, coaches, teammates and the “whole Hampden-Sydney crew for helping me get this, because I couldn’t have done it without any of those people.”

It is a remarkable achievement for a freshman to start at the college level in football, and it is even more impressive when that freshman emerges as a major star; that Smith achieved these feats was no accident.

“Coming in, I was determined to start as a freshman,” he said. “All summer long, I busted my tail in the weight room, running, I have a speed trainer that I get with, and then on top of all that, I was working outside in the heat, getting acclimated to the heat. I just wanted to make sure that I prepared myself fully for this next level. It was definitely a huge change from high school, but I felt like I prepared myself very well, and it showed on the field.”