LAKE MARY, Fla. — When you think Lake Mary football the past few years, you think Gunnar Smith.

What You Need To Know

  • Lake Mary quarterback Gunnar Smith commits to USF

  • The university "felt like home" during visit, Smith said

  • He'll join Timmy McClain as Seminole quarterbacks for the Bulls

  • Smith rejected offers from Kentucky, Harvard and Columbia

“Being able to start all four years is definitely a great experience,” Smith said after a morning at Lake Mary.  He’s preparing for his senior season and already holds school records for passing touchdowns, yards, most touchdowns in a game (six) and longest touchdown run (99 yards) which makes him particularly proud.

“Against (Lake) Brantley my freshman year,” Smith said laughing at the perception he isn’t a mobile QB.  “Over time, I’ve gotten a lot faster.”

He runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash now to be specific. His arm has never been a question. His talent caught the eye of recruiters the spring of his freshman year. Kentucky was the first school to offer him, but a coaching change cut ties there. Entering this summer, his top schools were Harvard, Columbia and USF.

“Definitely interesting to look at,” Smith said of the Ivy League offers. “Honored to know I could have gone to those schools.”

With a 4.1 grade-point average, Smith could have cut it academically too, but his dream was to stay in Florida so it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with USF.

“I went down there a couple weeks ago to visit, and it felt like home,” Smith said.

After the visit, he told the USF coaches he was interested in committing, so they invited him back. He committed June 11 while on a campus tour with Bulls head coach Jeff Scott.

“He came from Clemson so he’s coached some great quarterbacks and great offenses,” Smith said. “He’s integrating his new plan and bringing in guys he thinks will be the next level.”

Smith won’t be the only Seminole County quarterback on the Bulls roster. Sanford Seminole four-year starter and 2020 Class 8A state champion Timmy McClain enrolled early with USF this spring.

“We’ve been rivals on the field the last four years so it’s definitely cool for sure,” Smith said.

Smith is relieved to have the recruiting process behind him. He plans to enroll early with USF in the spring, but first he wants to make one more playoff run with Lake Mary.

“Just have a great season with my boys, my friends. This is going to be the last ride basically for them,” Smith said.  “I want to give it all I’ve got.  Have a great time.”