Listen to Laray break down how the coaching change pushed him away from Syracuse.
Brooklyn’s track star/ball carrier Laray Smith seemed locked into Syracuse for months, but on National Signing Day the speedster chooses the Midwest. We had the chance to catch up with him and ask when/why he decided to leave the state of New York.
Why did he pick Indiana?
“There’s nothing against Syracuse. I respect the coaches. They recruited me for a long time and Im thankful for that. But I took my visit to Indiana and I felt very different there. I was surprised with what I saw. I felt happy, I felt like I could fit in. Even though the distance is pretty far, I don’t regret my decision. I’m going to do what I gotta do to ball out.”
How much did the coaching change affect his decision?
“I met the new (SU) coaching staff, they’re actually cool guys. They’re great people. But me and Coach Anselmo and the head coach had a different relationship. I just felt kinda weird how they just left outta nowhere. I understand the opportunity. Who wouldn’t take that? Now you’re able to coach on the big time level. But I’m gonna be honest it did change my decision. I was just like ‘wow they left, they’re gone.’ I just felt different toward them. It was gonna be a confused state for Syracuse.”
How hectic were the final days of his recruitment?
“It’s been crazy. I’ve been getting a lot of calls. I started getting late offers for track, that was even more crazy. I was confused every day. I didn’t really know what to do.”
Does he have plans to ever run track full time?
“I’m always gonna play football. I love football. That’s my main sport. At the end of the day, I’m always going to stick with football. But I’m gonna run track there (at IU) too.”
How does he feel about Wayne Williams’ comments that some Big Apple players don’t understand how important it is to stay in New York and play in-state?
“That’s his choice of words. Nothing against him. I feel like you gotta go with your heart. Even if you’re from that state. There are kids who go from Miami to Syracuse. My heart told me to go to Indiana. I felt more comfortable with them. That’s why I decided to go.”
What’s his expectations for the upcoming season?
“I’m gonna work really hard and prove a lot of people wrong. I’m gonna help change Indiana football around.”