Schmitt has always been impressed by Torrey Smith's maturity.

As a graduate assistant with the Terrapins in 2007 and 2008, Schmitt was on the sideline with Smith during his redshirt freshman season. Smith, the oldest of seven children, helped his single mother raise his younger siblings.

"He was a kid that everyone was pulling for because he was such a nice guy," Schmitt said. "He was friends with everyone on the team, whether it was a walk-on who had been there for two months or a dining hall employee."

Schmitt remembers being on the sideline for the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl against Nevada. His friend, Brian White, had just been promoted to special teams coach before the game.


Sign up to receive our free daily email newsletter: Columbia Today

"I was nervous for him," Schmitt said. "Torrey took a kickoff back (99 yards) for a touchdown. I have a picture of (White) jumping for joy."

Maryland went on to win the game, 42-35. Nevada's starting quarterback was Colin Kaepernick, who will start Sunday's Super Bowl for the 49ers.

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Schmitt now employs a pistol offense, similar to what Kaepernick ran at Nevada, with his Atholton Raiders, who have gone 38-9 in his four seasons, making the playoffs each year.

Further complicating matters when it comes to choosing a side for Sunday's game is that as a Western Pennsylvania native, Schmitt is naturally repelled by the purple and black. Still, he'll be rooting for players on both sides of the ball.

"I'll just enjoy the game, but it's cool to say that you crossed paths with some of those guys," Schmitt said. "I got to see some of those guys work and see what it takes to get to that level, and that's something that you can pass on to the kids. It's the pinnacle of our sport."