The saga of DaMarcus Smith’s ongoing recruitment took another bizarre twist late last night as The Central Florida Future (the school’s student newspaper) broke a story that claims the highly touted Louisville quarterback has finally ended his embattled decision on where he will play his college football — and it’s not for Charlie Strong in his hometown. Yep, The Future reports that Smith will report to campus on June 22nd for the second part of summer school and will enroll immediately at the Orlando-based UCF. This is the final piece in what has been a whirlwind puzzle of speculation over the last several weeks. By most accounts, Smith was going to end up at Louisville no matter what it took. He recently told some sources that he would not go the juco or prep school route, and that D-1 football was his only option. Therefore, it meant that if the NCAA denied his appeal to be let out of his letter-of-intent with Central Florida, he would have to transfer and sit out a year before being eligible in 2012. As it turns out, Smith will join the UCF program and compete for a back-up position behind sophomore Jeff Godfrey.
On the positive side, this obviously swings the door wide open for Tyler Gabbert. The Missouri transfer visited Louisville two weeks ago and was reported to be a heavy Cardinal lean. But, there was always a cloud of speculation about what would happen with DaMarcus Smith, as most people thought he would end up at U of L when everything was said and done. Now, Gabbert can transfer in, sit out a year and learn the system, and then compete with Teddy Bridgewater for future playing time. We’ll keep an eye on that story as it unfolds.