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2024 QB Gabriel Smith: Walden Grove High School (AZ)

Walden Grove High School's quarterback, Gabriel Lee Smith, is gearing up for his senior year with determination and big dreams. Standing at 5'9" and weighing 175 pounds, Smith may not fit the traditional mold of a quarterback, but his passion and dedication set him apart. With a GPA of 3.25, he proves that he excels both on and off the field.

Smith's primary goal for his final high school season is to lead his team to success. He aims to throw for an impressive 3,000 passing yards and help secure a playoff spot for Walden Grove. After narrowly missing the playoffs in the previous season, Smith is motivated to rally his team and compete against the top schools in the state. In his own words, he stated, "We barely missed playoffs last season by .27 in voting, and I would love Walden to get a playoff birth and compete with top schools in the state."

Despite facing challenges in the recruiting process due to his height, Smith remains undeterred. He acknowledges that he may not fit the typical quarterback mold but emphasizes his heart and dedication as assets that make up for any perceived shortcomings. Smith has been in contact with several colleges, eagerly waiting for a program that will take a chance on him. His ultimate priority in making a decision is the academic opportunity and the chance to showcase his skills on the field. "My biggest factor in my decision making is the major/minor at the school and opportunity I have to get the ball in the future," Smith explained.

Beyond football, Smith has aspirations and interests outside of the sport. He plans to pursue a criminal justice major in college, inspired by his family's background in federal law enforcement. With aspirations to join the FBI or Border Patrol after college, Smith values honor and integrity, qualities instilled in him by his father and grandfather, whom he greatly admires. In the upcoming year, he aims to raise his GPA to secure an academic scholarship for furthering his education. Additionally, he will participate in a youth firefighter academy to explore career options beyond football and college.

Gabriel Lee Smith is a rising star who refuses to let his physical stature limit his potential. With ambitious goals for his final high school season, he aims to leave a lasting impact on the field while pursuing his passions off the field. As he navigates the recruiting process and makes decisions about his future, Smith's determination and drive will undoubtedly lead him to success.

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