Ex-Poly star V. Smith transfers to Maryland

September 23, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Running back Vernon Smith, who like Virginia Tech's Antonio Freeman was a first-team All-Metro for Poly in 1989, has transferred to Maryland.

Smith played in 1990 and '91 for Division I-AA Villanova, gaining 605 yards as a sophomore, but underwent knee surgery after the season. Smith withdrew from Villanova before the start of the 1992 season, but returned the following semester and had a 65-yard touchdown run in the Wildcats' 1993 spring game.

Smith withdrew a second time from Villanova in May, citing personal reasons. Poly coach Augie Waibel said Smith was involved in a fight that followed the theft of some of his belongings, but both Smith and Villanova coach Andy Talley declined to comment when asked about any such incident.

Smith enrolled at Maryland earlier this month, and practiced with the Terps for less than two weeks before stopping to seek employment. He is not on scholarship, and Smith said, "I've got to pay my own way."

"I've always wanted to see if I could play in Division I-A, and I wanted to be closer to home," Smith said. "Right now, I've only got one year of eligibility left, but I'm going to try to appeal to the NCAA for a medical hardship year, since I wasn't at Villanova last season. I'm hoping I'll be able to play two years here."

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