St. Paul’s quarterback Scott Smith III waited for quite a bit of time before receiving a scholarship offer from Towson University. Columbia, Fordham, Holy Cross, Morgan State, VMI and Yale came knocking on the door, but when the Towson offer came, Smith went with it.
Now the Bel Air native, a rising senior, will be heading to play for the Tigers, a team that plays just 6.5 miles from his high school field.
“This is really the perfect fit for me — it’s close to home, the coaches are great, Coach [Rob] Ambrose has been there for awhile, I’ve talked to [assistant} Coach Drew [Rodriguez] a lot and we get along extremely well,” Smith said. “Before he became the quarterback coach — when he was at Quarterback Factory, I used to work with him and I really enjoyed it. They also have a really good business program, which I’m pretty sure is top-50 in the nation. So, that’s what I want to study in college.
“When I talked with my family about it, we all decided that it would be a perfect fit. This is an exciting moment for me and I am grateful for the opportunity at Towson, but I know the hard work is just beginning.”
The connection to Towson is more than just a geographical one for Smith, as St. Paul’s coach Scott Van Zile is coming off four years as the Tigers’ quarterbacks coach and 20 years as an FCS assistant coach. Smith’s trainer Chris Baucia, who founded Quarterback Factory, believes that Van Zile is the perfect person to take Smith’s game to the next level.
“I think it can’t be measured in words — Coach Van Zile has been awesome in helping not only Scott, but his other players in getting college exposure, especially during these difficult times,” said Baucia. “I think the thing that really sealed the deal for Scott was not only him being physically and technically sound, but mentally sound and I think the work that Coach Van Zile and ourselves have done on Zoom and the film room, really put Scott over the top with Towson.
“I contribute a lot of that to Coach Van Zile in his ability to come into a new situation, have a kid and being able to force feed some of those early college thoughts, techniques and verbiage into Scott’s vocabulary and his mindset. And I think that helped Scott a lot.”
During his junior season, the rising senior quarterback passed for 1,703 yards, 18 touchdowns and threw eight interceptions. He rushed for 207 rushing yards and a touchdown, to show off his dual-threat abilities and rounded the year off with an MIAA All-Conference selection.
“I think Scott will be a great fit at Towson,” Van Zile said. “He’s defiantly talented enough and he also brings a high level of toughness which will fit right in with the Towson football culture.”
Towson has gone 66-64 since Ambrose took over as the head coach in 2009. Ambrose led the Tigers to Colonial Athletic Association championships in 2011 and 2012 and made the Football Championship Series playoffs in 2011, 2012 and 2018.
Baucia believes that the 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback is a perfect fit for Towson.
“I’m thrilled that he’s getting the opportunity at Towson,” Baucia said. “Anytime a player in this state goes to a school in state like Towson or Maryland or even some of the Division III schools, I think it’s a great thing. To keep the local talent home is awesome.”