MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

July 10, 2013

Making a commitment: Muskogee wrestler decides collegiate future

Muskogee High School’s Jacobe Smith is a wrestler that has never shied away from going up against the best.

When the senior-to-be heads off to college, he will have that opportunity as he has verbally committed to wrestle for the Cowboys at Oklahoma State.

“This feels pretty good,” Smith said. “It’s like a dream come true. There was a Michigan school and a couple of other coaches came and talked to me.”

While he can still change his mind before Nov. 13, the first day he can sign a binding national letter of intent, Smith is firm on his decision should another school approach him.

“I tell them I’m already committed to somewhere,” he said.

Muskogee associate head coach Dan Jefferson is happy that Smith has decided on OSU.

“I don’t think there’s a better program out there, especially at the collegiate level, as Oklahoma State is,” Jefferson said. “John Smith is an elite coach in the sport and anytime he says great things about our kids, it’s a tremendous honor.”

And now that the recruiting process is over, Smith can concentrate on his final season in a Roughers’ singlet. Jefferson knows that keeping Smith focused on the upcoming season will not be a problem.

“He’s an extremely focused young man,” Jefferson said. “He wants to be a national champion. I don’t think there’s much distracting that young man. He’s a fighter and he’s a warrior and I think that’s what attracted OSU to him.”

And keeping Smith in good physical condition will also not be a problem. Jefferson took pride in what OSU associated head coach Eric Guerrero said about the Roughers’ training regiment on a recent visit.

“(Guerrero) told us that he wrestled at one of the top high school programs in the country,” Jefferson said. “Being it is a private school, it allowed scholarships for student-athletes and received some of the nation’s best wrestlers. He said there is not any high school wrestling program in the country that has a summer training regiment like we do.”

Smith has been using those training sessions to his advantage. Last month, Smith competed in the USA Wrestling National Duals in Oklahoma City and finished 6-2, winning three matches in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman.

“I’ve been going to Summer Pride every day,” Smith said. “Except for Duals, we practice every morning.”

It’s that dedication to the sport that the rest of the team takes notice of. His goals for the 2013-14 season are already set.

“I want an undefeated record,” Smith said. “I want to be the first undefeated wrestler to wrestle for Muskogee High School. I also want to be a state champ.”

While Smith has his immediate future planned out, he is still working to help the team. As a senior, he knows what he needs to do to get the younger members going.

“Be more of a team guy, talk to them a little bit more,” Smith said. “They love to be around me and stuff but they don’t like the wrestling as much, just hanging around. I’ve got to get their minds on track. It’s not all about fun.”

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