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  • Writer's pictureJenn Brown

Smith named Selma Times-Journal player of the year

Southside wide receiver Derick Smith is still catching on with NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Schools.

After a spectacular junior year in which he ran for over 1,000 yards and caught another thousand, Smith is named football player of the year by The Selma Times-Journal. Smith ran 65 times for 1,036 yards and nine touchdowns. Smith finished with 46 catches for 1,487 yards and 14 TD's. He also carried 78 times for 289 yards and two TDs. Offensively, Smith had 109 total tackles and one Pick-6.

“I'm happy to be named Selma Times-Journal player of the year, Smith said.

Smith is unlike most players with his 6-foot-4 inch frame and athletic background, but he gives credit to the Panthers for helping him become what he is.

“I care about the team. I don't want to see them finishing second.” Smith said. It's not all about me; it is the team that counts.

Southside head football coach Charles Moody heaped praise on Smith for his leadership on the field and off it.

Moody said: “Most of Derick's motivation comes from within. Every day he goes to work, and continues seeking improvement in himself as much as possible.” The better question is what he doesn’t do well,” said Moody. We use him in so many different ways. He plays every defensive position except for the line, and on offense he can do anything. On special teams, there is nothing that he cannot handle.

By January, Smith faces a steady stream of visits from major colleges at home and Southside High School.

Schools like Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss; SEC schools Georgia and Florida State; big three school LSU are top on Smith's radar.

Smith said, “I definitely will put myself into a school next year.

For the second year in a row, Smith landed an honor from the Selma Times-Journal. In 2022, Smith was the offensive Most Valuable player for Selma Times-Journal.

Smith was selected All-State by the Alabama Sportswriters Association (ASWA) for three consecutive years.

A scholarship, a championship and diploma: That's how Smith plans to close out his Southside career one more year from now.

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