Imhotep Charter's Tykee Smith, a multipurpose standout on the gridiron, announced Thursday afternoon that he will continue his career at West Virginia. He made the announcement in front of family members, teammates and classmates in the cafeteria at the East Germantown School.
The 5-foot-11, 193-pound senior plays running back, wildcat quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back for the Panthers. He is a three-star prospect, according to 247Sports.
Smith, who is projected to play safety in college, chose West Virginia over runner-up North Carolina. Baylor, Maryland, Michigan State, and Syracuse were also in the mix. He visited West Virginia twice, taking his last trip to Morgantown, W.Va., in June for a 7-on-7 tournament.
"I just like the environment there," Smith, 17, said. "It felt like home pretty much right away. I also think they're defensive scheme fits my style of play."
Smith's mother, Cassandra Williams, broke out in tears after her son announced his choice. "I was so excited for him," she said matter-of-factly.
Last season, Smith helped Imhotep go 12-2 overall and advance to the PIAA Class 4A championship game before losing to District 10's Erie Cathedral Prep.
"The thing about him is that he can kind of do it anywhere on the field," Panthers second-year coach Nick Lincoln said. "He just does everything he can to make sure his team is in a good position to win."
Devon Johnson is Imhotep's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
"Tykee is great at anticipating what the offense is going to do and being in the right place to make a play," Johnson said. "And if the ball is up in the air, he'll go get it. I've never seen a stronger competitor."
Smith, a three-year starter, is thinking of majoring in engineering in college.