Robert Prunty does not dole out compliments to his players unless they are well earned. That makes it even more impressive when Prunty praises one of his prospects and tells you how impressed he is with him, as is the case with Cannon Smith.
Smith’s off-the-field incidents are well documented as they made front page headlines, of course most media while being quick to tear down a young man they often fail to follow-up the story, especially if it has a positive ending. Scout.com spoke with Coach Prunty about Smith recently to find out if the often talked about Smith has turned things around for himself.
“Cannon Smith has been great since he has been at Hargrave,” Coach Prunty exclaimed. “He has already earned the rank of lieutenant. His interactions with the players have made him a leader. He really was born to lead. I really feel that he has flourished in his time at Hargrave Military Academy.”
College coaches have been taking notice to Smith’s rebound as well, according to Coach Prunty a big offer is headed his way.
“He is being officially offered by Miami this week,” Prunty said. “I spoke to Coach (Randy) Shannon two nights ago and he said he’d be faxing the offer to me.
“Miami is doing a great job of recruiting him,” Prunty expounded. “Coach Shannon and (Joe) Pannunzio have been great. In my opinion they have set themselves apart.”
Miami is not the only school showing interest in Smith. He holds offers from Ole Miss, Middle Tennessee State and Memphis as well. He has also received interest from Wake Forest and Arizona State.
“We started sending out his film and the interest was pretty overwhelming,” Prunty stated. “He will likely take an official to Miami when we have an off week and Miami is at home. He will probably be taking officials to most of the schools that offer him.
“He is having a great season,” Prunty said. “We spread out and he really zips the ball around. I think he’d do well in a spread offense. His athleticism is really better than I thought. When he came here I figured he was a 4.8 type of kid, but he is more like a 4.65. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”
Prunty is quick to tell you that it’s the competitiveness that sets Smith apart from others.
“He is a competitor,” Prunty explained. “When he came here you could see it right away. If you’re playing checkers or cards, he just wants to win no matter what it is. That is what sets him apart. Whoever gets Cannon Smith is getting a competitor who will compete no matter what. I have had some good quarterback’s here, but none have been as competitive as him.”
Prunty will not sugarcoat things just because a young man is in his system and he takes pride is seeing someone turn their life around and getting them back on track. He is very proud of what Cannon Smith has accomplished at Hargrave.
“The growth I have seen in Cannon Smith physically and mentally since seeing him last year at Olive Branch is remarkable,” Prunty said. “If you see his film and you’ll see what the buzz is with him. Plus he has benefited from having some great wide receivers like DeAngelo Benton and Dwight Jones. Cannon has not been any type of problem here at Hargrave he really has flourished.
“Right now, he is right around 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds and he is more athletic than what people think he is.”
Scout.com will have more on Cannon Smith once he starts taking his official visits. Here are some clips of Cannon Smith in action last week Watch Video