You may see West Salem senior quarterback Cade Smith around town some next fall.
Soon enough, however, he will be in Logan, Utah.
The 6-1, 202-pound senior signed a letter of intent to play football at Utah State Wednesday, the first day of the regular signing period for football players.
“This process is really stressful for everybody who goes through it,” Smith said after a signing ceremony Wednesday at West Salem. “I’m one of the few lucky guys who got to go a school I truly want to go to.”
Smith is planning on greyshirting next fall and delaying enrollment to Utah State until January of 2016.
He said there’s a possibility he could go to the school in the fall, but it’s unlikely.
“I’m going to have a fitness plan, work out and I’m going to throw as much as possible,” said Smith, who will major in business. “I’m going to work, make a little money, take a few classes, knock a few out and I’m going to be watching West (Salem) games as much as possible. It’s a good deal.”
West Salem senior linebacker Hamilton Hunt has accepted an official admission letter to Oregon State and will be a preferred walk-on in the program.
The 6-1, 210-pound senior emerged as a force this season with 114 tackles and was a second-team all-state selection at linebacker.
“So basically, I’m committed,” Hunt said. “I’m saying I’m going to my school. I’m on the roster already and everything…I think they call it advanced tuition deposit. And that’s like your signing, that’s how you sign.”
The last West Salem football players to walk on at Oregon State were Jordan Jenkins (first-team all-Pac-12 in 2012) and Ryan Allen (two-time Ray Guy winner at Louisiana Tech).
“I know whatever the mind sees and believes, it will achieve,” said Hunt, who will major in engineering. “I’ve set my mind to this, I’ve prayed about it, I have the faith, I have the will and the determination.
“I’ve talked to several former Division I players that have coached me in the process and talking to me saying is this a legitimate thing? They said you are D1 material and you just need to go prove it.”
West Salem senior lineman Roman Kleiber committed to play football at George Fox.
Kleiber said that the coaches at the Division III school are considering moving him to linebacker or defensive end from the offensive line positions he played in high school.
“I think it’s no question of whether it’s a good academic school,” Kleiber said. “I think that speaks for itself. It’s great academically. The football program, their coaches really drew me in with their standard.
“Even though it’s in its second year, there are standards of excellence already, they aren’t just taking any player, they aren’t just taking any coach. They really want to have the best program as soon as they can. That’s what really drew me in.”
West Salem senior receiver Keegen Hlad said that he will walk on and play football at either Eastern Washington or Oregon State.
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6701 or follow at twitter.com/bpoehler
Area high school football players who have signed or committed
Levi Long, Sprague, Eastern Washington
Cade Smith, West Salem, Utah State
Hayden Broadus, Dallas, Eastern Oregon
Hamilton Hunt, West Salem, Oregon State
Roman Kleiber, West Salem, George Fox
Connor Fohn, South Salem, Carroll