Tatum Defender D’Torian Smith Commits To United States Air Force Academy
D'Torian Smith made a huge commitment Friday.
Not only will the senior Tatum flex defensive end and linebacker attend the United States Air Force Academy on invitation, he will most likely serve in the Armed Forces upon collegiate graduation. Smith announced his decision through his personal Twitter account.
Louisiana-Monroe and UTEP were other Division I FBS programs interested in obtaining the defender's services. Houston Baptist, Lamar, Missouri State and Stephen F. Austin also have standing scholarship offers out for Smith on the FCS level.
The defender -- who is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and also will play some quarterback as a senior -- was a bright spot on a winless Tatum team last season.
Former head coach Andy Evans vacated his position with the football team after the season ended, but he will stay with Tatum as an assistant athletic director. Evans guided the program to two state championship wins and a third title game appearance through 12 years on the job.
Tatum hired Craig Barker away from Kaufman during the offseason. Barker led Kaufman to the District 8-4A Division I crown last season and enjoyed a run to the regional round of the Class 4A Division I state playoffs -- where the team was finally subdued by Liberty-Eylau.
Smith could enjoy a much better senior season.
Tatum was removed from a district highlighted by Atlanta and Center during realignment. Atlanta and Center reached at least the regional round of last season's Class 4A Division II playoffs and return critical members from the 2015 teams.
Instead, Smith and company were placed into District 8-4A Division II alongside Diboll, Huntington, Jasper and Rusk. The top four finishers in the five-team league will qualify for the postseason, and only two of the teams reached the playoffs last year.
Air Force gave Smith his first FBS offer on May 21 after an 8-4 regular season. The Falcons advanced to the Mountain West Conference championship game, lost and were relegated to Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth.
California defeated Air Force in the bowl game.
Troy Calhoun will be in Colorado Springs for a 10th consecutive year as the Falcons' head coach. He has a 67-50 overall record with the program.
Calhoun, who started his career as an Air Force graduate assistant and junior varsity coach after playing quarterback at Air Force, spent his intermediary time as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Ohio and Wake Forest before jumping to the NFL.
The Denver Broncos hired Calhoun from Wake Forest to be an assistant coach in 2003 and the Houston Texans hired him as their offensive coordinator for the 2006 season.
Calhoun rejoined the Falcons program ahead of the 2007 campaign.
Air Force students, naturally, are usually absorbed into the United States Air Force or other branches of the military upon graduation.
Smith can sign a National Letter of Intent with Air Force on Feb. 1. That's the first day senior high school football players can formally accept invitations to collegiate programs.
2017 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Tristan Allen, Atlanta, LB, 6-3, 206 — offer from Louisiana Tech, UTEP (2)
- Judah Bell, Tyler Bishop Gorman, WR, 6-3, 180 — offers from Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, Houston, Kansas, Memphis, Navy, New Mexico, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM, UTSA, Wyoming (13)
- Noah Bush, Athens, LB, 6-1, 216 — offers from Air Force, Army (2)
- Lagaryonn Carson, Liberty-Eylau, DE, 6-4, 261 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, North Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M (9)
- Terrell Cooper, Lindale, DE, 6-3, 240 — offers from Arkansas State, Memphis, Texas State (3)
- Trestan Ebner, Henderson, WR, 5-11, 180 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Texas, Ole Miss, SMU, Syracuse, UTSA, Texas A&M, Tulsa (18)
- Montrell Estell, Hooks, WR/DB, 6-2, 180 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Notre Dame, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane (12)
- Octavius Evans, Center, WR, 6-2, 186 — offers from Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas State, ULL (7)
- Ted Fuller, Harleton, RB, 5-11, 195 — offers from ULM, Wyoming (2)
- Tre Gatlin, Carthage, DE, 6-6, 210 —offer from Wyoming (1)
- Austin Hawley, Gladewater, DB, 6-1, 200 — offer from ULM (1)
- Kollin Hurt, Gilmer, DB, 6-3, 175 — committed to Louisiana Tech; additional offers from ULM, UTSA (3)
- Jordan Johnson, Hooks, ATH, 6-0, 195 — committed to Air Force (1)
- Kayce Medlock, Arp, ATH, 5-10, 186 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Army, Colorado, Navy, Tulane, ULL, UTSA (7)
- Damion Miller, John Tyler, WR, 6-1, 189 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Houston, Kansas, Missouri, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (11)
- LaMarcus Morton, Gilmer, WR, 6-2, 175 — committed to Oklahoma State; additional offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, New Mexico State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, ULL, ULM, UTSA (13)
- Javontavius Mosley, John Tyler, CB, 6-1, 170 — committed to UTSA; additional offers from Arkansas State, Houston, Memphis, North Texas, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, ULL, ULM (10)
- Cade Pearson, Texas High, QB, 6-3, 193 — committed to North Texas; additional offer from Wyoming (2)
- Dhailon Phillips, Lufkin, WR, 6-3, 195 — offers from Air Force, Texas State (2)
- Dez Robinson, Atlanta, LB, 6-3, 210 — offers from UTEP, Wyoming (2)
- Kordell Rodgers, Lufkin, QB/ATH, 5-10, 165 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from Arkansas State, ULM (3)
- Makyle Sanders, Tyler Lee, S, 6-1, 177 — offers from Air Force, Memphis, Navy (3)
- Bryson Smith, John Tyler, QB/ATH, 6-0, 170 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Air Force, Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Memphis, New Mexico, North Texas, Purdue, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Tulane, Tulsa, ULL, ULM, UTSA (16)
- D’Torian Smith, Tatum, DE/LB, 6-3, 225 — committed to Air Force; additional offers from ULM, UTEP (3)
- Major Tennison, Bullard, TE, 6-6, 248 — offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA (14)
- Josh Thompson, Nacogdoches, CB, 6-0, 182 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Houston, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Missouri, North Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane, ULM, Utah, UTSA, Washington State, Wyoming (24)
- Lakendrick VanZandt, Henderson, S, 6-1, 196 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Arkansas State, Houston, Memphis, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Tulane, Tulsa (8)
- Traveion Webster, Longview, S, 6-0, 197 — offer from ULM (1)