UPDATED 3:30pm: No shocker, but Smith chose Boston College from his list of four schools. Still, it is impressive that a school like Villanova would be mentioned in the top-four choices for an ACC-bound recruit.
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Thaddius Smith is a wide receiver and defensive back from Cardinal O'Hara in suburban Philadelphia, and the 5-foot-11, 170-pound rising senior has kept Villanova on his radar, despite a number of options at FBS schools. Today, he will pick between Villanova, Boston College, Temple and James Madison at an afternoon press conference.
Considered the top player in Pennsylvania's 2014 class by 247 Sports, the athlete was versatile enough to play multiple offensive and defensive positions at O'Hara over the past three seasons. As a junior, he rushed for 363 yards and four touchdowns on 57 carries while catching 33 balls for another 426 yards and eight more scores.
The press conference to announce his decision will be held at either 2:45pm or 3:30pm.
Smith was offered by Boston College in January and also reportedly holds offers from UMass, Rutgers and Toledo. He was named the 137th-best high school football athlete in the nation for the 2014 class by 247Sports.com.
Villanova will be viewed as an underdog this afternoon, but it hasn't been unheard of for a player with BCS offers or interest to choose the Wildcats. Star receiver and running back Jamal Abdur-Rahman picked Villanova over at least Maryland, while linebacker Corey Majors was reportedly offered a spot by Pittsburgh. Both will play their second season on the Main Line this Fall.
Smith recently called Boston College his "Number One," and while that should temper Nova fans' expectations for this afternoon's announcement, you shouldn't necessarily count them out just yet. Recruits minds can change quickly in the recruiting process once they learn how they will fit in. For example, incoming Villanova defensive end Mike Williams had his heart set on Maryland until putting some thought into the Terps' intention to move him to offense -- a switch he ultimately wasn't comfortable with.
If Smith came to Villanova in 2014, it would serve to further bolster a roster with as much talent as anyone in the FCS ranks.
It isn't clear if he was among the junior players who attended a recent Spring practice on April 13th for Junior Day. Williamstown (NJ) DB Mark Ellis, who is also being recruited by JMU, Rutgers, UMass, West Virginia, Temple and Richmond (according to 247Sports), was one of the more high profile athletes who attended that event.
(h/t - BC Interruption)