WKU verbals include four-star QB Smith

WKU verbals include four-star QB Smith

Jordan Wells

Rivals.com ranked Head Coach Willie Taggart’s first and second recruiting classes at the top of the Sun Belt Conference.

But Taggart’s third recruiting class could be his best thanks to Class of 2011 four-star quarterback DaMarcus Smith.

Smith, from Louisville Seneca High School, competed at the Elite 11 quarterback camp in California as a senior.

There he played alongside quarterbacks headed to Alabama, Florida, Southern California, Stanford and other Bowl Championship Series schools.

Smith broke his original commitment to Louisville and signed a letter of intent last February to play at Central Florida. But he failed to qualify academically, reopening his recruitment.

After a season away from football, Smith has landed at WKU.

“I think the sky is the limit for WKU football,” Smith said. “Last year was really a struggle for me.

“I made mistakes, but I learned from them. I’m humbled and grateful to have a second chance at another university, get an education and be a part of a football team that’s up and coming.”

Smith is coming to WKU along with Seneca teammate Michael Fluellen, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver who will walk on in 2012 before going on scholarship in 2013.

In their final high school game together, a playoff loss to St. Xavier High School, Smith threw for more than 400 yards, four touchdowns and ran for one more.

All four touchdowns were thrown to Fluellen, who finished with seven catches for 170 yards.

Meanwhile the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Sunday that offensive lineman Tyler English and defensive tackles Marquez Pride and Devante Terrell all accepted scholarship offers during official visits to WKU this weekend.

English was a starter for Louisville Trinity High School’s 2011 Class 6A state championship team, which was ranked No. 1 nationally in some polls.

He chose the Toppers over Air Force and Miami of Ohio.

Pride, a Madison, Ala., native, chose the Toppers over Sun Belt Conference rival Troy.

And Terrell, a Rivals three-star prospect, gave WKU his commitment over Missouri and South Florida.

South Warren High School kicker Clay Nelson also committed to WKU on Sunday, according to the Courier-Journal.

Nelson, who will walk-on, made 11-of-13 field goals in 2011, earning first-team All-State honors.

Two other Louisville high school prospects, defensive tackle Tyrone Pearson and running back Anthony “Ace” Wales of Louisville Central High School, were on campus this weekend.

Pearson, who Rivals.com lists with offers from seven Southeastern Conference schools, tweeted that he was “having a great official visit at WKU.”

Wales visited despite making a verbal commitment to Louisville earlier in the week.

Other visitors included junior college running back Marion Grice and junior college defensive back Brett Harrington.

Grice, a Rivals four-star prospect, is a current Texas A&M verbal commitment who also holds offers from Oklahoma, Arkansas and others.

Harrington, who played last season at Alfred State Community College in Alfred, N.Y., told the Herald “everything’s good, they’re showing love,” when asked about this weekend’s visit.

Harrington is also considering Akron and Buffalo.

Rivals three-star running back Jamie Gilmore is taking his official visit to WKU this week.

Gilmore is also considering Temple and USF.

WKU will host additional recruits on the weekend of Jan. 27-29, before most make their college decision final on National Signing Day, Feb. 1.