Rosewood's Troy Smith commits to Guilford College
By David Williams
Published in Sports on May 4, 2004 1:56 PM
Thus far, Troy Smith has had a lot of influences on his life -- his parents, his grandparents, his teachers, his coaches and his friends.
But as far as football goes, his major influence has been his older brother, Josh.
Josh Smith was the quarterback for some of the most successful Rosewood High School teams in coach Daniel Barrow's tenure. He went on to have a strong career at Guilford College and is now within days of graduation, soon to become a teacher and coach.
Troy followed his brother into football, becoming a three-year starter at center for the Eagles. He was the team captain, anchoring an offense that set a school record for points scored with an eye-popping 524 points. Smith earned News-Argus first team all-area recognition and was an all-Carolina Conference selection.
So when Troy thought about his college plans, he decided to follow his brother.
The youngest son of Steve and Jo Ann Smith of Goldsboro signed a national letter of intent to attend Guilford College this week. He was so certain he wanted to attend Guilford, he turned down the North Carolina Teaching Fellows scholarship he was awarded just days ago.
"It was a very tough decision to make," he said. "But it's tough for a high school athlete to go on to play in college. It'e something I have wanted to do since I started playing football. If I had not chosen to play, I would have regretted it 20 or 30 years down the road."
Smith also considered Averett College, Emory and Henry and Methidist College. But his heart was already with the Quakers.
"Josh played there four years," said Smith. "I know the players and the coaches well. It was home. Deep down in my heart, it was home."
Smith said the class size at Guilford -- usually 15 or 17 stdents per classroom -- was a big influence in his decision.
"I won't sit in an auditorium with 200 or 300 other students," he said.
Rosewood football coach Daniel Barrow said Smith was the leader of his offensive line and continued a long tradition of outstanding centers at Rosewood. He read a statement from Guilford College head coach Mike Ketchum, who said that he was "excited to keep the Rosewood-Guilford tradition alive." He expressed his gratitude to the Smith family for sending their second son to the Quaker program.
And Troy spoke impressively of his brother's influence.
"He's the biggest inspiration of my life," he said. "His high school career started with a broken leg. It was amazing to watch him persevere past that and have a successful high school and college career.
"If I have half the career he did, I'm going to be very successful."
Teaching is a strong part of the Smith family -- mother Jo Ann is a long-time art teacher at Rosewood and both sons plan to enter the teaching profession.
Smith intends to major in history education.
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