Gerald Smith, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior running back from Howard, gave an oral commitment to Penn State last month.
Smith, who rushed for 1,669 yards and 14 touchdowns his sophomore season, added 1,167 yards and 18 touchdowns last fall. The two-time All-Howard County running back rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns against county champion Wilde Lake.
At least 15 Division I schools expressed interest in Smith, who carries a 3.7 grade-point average. Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech had sent representatives to the school either to watch him play or talk to his coach.
Other interested schools included Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Michigan State, Stanford, Harvard, South Carolina, Bucknell and Vanderbilt.
"It was between Penn State, Maryland, Virginia and Syracuse," Smith said. "Penn State was one of the first schools to show an interest, so I got comfortable around them and spent four days at their summer camp. I wanted to get out of state, but not so far that my parents wouldn't be able to see me play. I got a lot of letters from Michigan and Wisconsin, but they were too far away."
Smith plans to study engineering, and Penn State has a strong program.
Alhambra pairings set
Archbishop Spalding (29-4), The Sun's No. 2-ranked boys basketball team, has drawn defending champion DeMatha (25-4) of Hyattsville in the first round of next week's Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State University.
The Cavaliers meet the Stags, ranked No. 7 in the East region by USA Today, in the feature game at 9: 15 p.m. on March 18. DeMatha has won the 38-year old tournament 20 times.
No. 4 Towson Catholic (25-6) plays Philadelphia's Roman Catholic (25-4) in the Alhambra's first game at 4 p.m. on March 18. Roman Catholic blew out top-ranked Dunbar (22-3) by 25 points a couple of weeks ago.
The winner of the 7: 30 p.m. game between Washington Catholic Athletic Conference runner-up Good Counsel (28-3), ranked No. 12 nationally in USA Today, and Canada's Cathedral the first day, meets the Spalding-DeMatha winner at 9 p.m. on March 19.
In the other winners' bracket game at 7 p.m. on March 19, the Towson Catholic- Roman Catholic winner will play the Gonzaga- host Bishop Walsh winner from the 5: 45 p.m. game on March 18.
The championship game is set for March 20 at 8: 15 p.m.
Brocato leaving St. Paul's
St. Paul's lacrosse coach Rick Brocato said yesterday that he plans to step down at the end of this season and that he has accepted a "teaching, coaching and administrative position" in Denver.
"I was offered the job in late February after visiting the school," said Brocato, 36, who will be dean of students, teach seventh-grade science and coach lacrosse at the Graland School.
Brocato has 46 wins in four years at St. Paul's, including two appearances in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game. He was named All-Baltimore City/County Coach of the Year last spring after leading the Crusaders to a 13-3 record, their second division title, a No. 2 area ranking and a No. 5 national ranking.
Spalding will play Champion, a team of Anne Arundel County players, in the first Dick Hart Scholarship Fund Game at noon Saturday at Annapolis High. Open tryouts for the Champion team will be held tonight at 6 at Annapolis. Call 410-266-5240 for information.
The Senior All-Star Wrestling Classic scheduled for last night at River Hill High was postponed until Friday because of snow. Starting time is 7 p.m.
Pub Date: 3/10/99