Sunday, May 8, 2022 | 4:41 p.m.
Caden Smith did not choose football. Football chose him.
“Football is the most fun,” the Franklin Regional elder said, comparing the game to his other sports (basketball, baseball).
Smith excelled in all three, earning all-conference/section first team in all three.
He also had an academic interest in these sports. But football will be his way to the next level.
Smith accepted a favorite offer from Pitt, the defending ACC champion.
“If you go to a Pitt practice, it’s a different atmosphere than anywhere else,” said Smith, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound wide receiver/safety. “All around, Pitt has what it takes to succeed. When it comes to football, they have all the best coaches and athletes around. There are so many benefits to having the best coaches and players around you every day in training.
Smith, one of the most versatile players to wear the Franklin regional uniform, played receiver, quarterback, linebacker and goaltender last season.
He caught 31 passes for 360 yards, completed 6 of 9 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, intercepted five passes and scored seven touchdowns.
“I’m very proud of Caden and know he will be a great addition to the Pitt program,” Franklin regional coach Lance Getsy said. “He has a lot to prove and a lot of hard work ahead of him, but I’m sure he’ll open his eyes when he gets the chance.”
Smith will follow in the footsteps of a former Franklin-area athlete as well as another from the Westmoreland County Class of 2022.
Aidan Fisch left Franklin Regional a few years ago and joined Pitt’s basketball team. After some time as a team leader, he made it to the active roster.
Belle Vernon’s star athlete Devin Whitlock has also chosen the preferred route and will be Smith’s teammate at Pitt.
Smith said Pitt prevailed over five other favorite offers and several Division II opportunities.
“Academically, it’s a top-notch university,” he said of Pitt. “I believe they have all the right tools to get me where I need to be.”
Keywords: Franklin Regional