Jermaine Smith, a standout shortstop at Tampa’s King High School, signed a national letter-of-intent Wednesday to play baseball at the University of South Florida.
Smith hit .357 (30-for-84) with five home runs, a triple and 12 doubles in his senior season. He was named first team All-Hillsborough County by the Tampa Tribune and by the St. Petersburg Times and was an honorable mention all-state Class 5A selection. Smith was also named to the All-Western Conference first team.
“We think Jermaine is a heck of a player,” said USF coach Eddie Cardieri. “He is a very good athlete, and I think he’ll enjoy a great career. It will be interesting to see which position he ends up playing, but I suspect he will play a lot of shortstop in the fall.”
Smith, 6-foot, 171 pounds, was selected in the 36th round of the June amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners.
“I’m really excited about playing baseball at USF,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to playing at the NCAA Division I level and playing for coaches that have as their main interest to bring the best out of me as a ballplayer and as a person.”
“What I’ve heard from people is that I have a plus arm,” said Smith. “I work very hard on defense, I have soft hands and I’ve been told I have good range.”