After much uncertainty, the sun has officially set on Maxwell Smith’s playing days, at least at the collegiate level.
Tuesday, San Diego State head coach confirmed that the NCAA has denied Smith’s appeal for a medical waiver that would’ve given the quarterback a sixth season of eligibility. Smith had been wavering as to whether wanted to play in 2016 irrespective of the NCAA’s decision, which is why head coach Rocky Long had previously indicated that the player would have a job in some capacity with the Aztecs football program if he wanted it.
It’s uncertain whether Smith, who has previously indicated he wants to pursue a career in coaching, will accept a position at SDSU. What is certain is that he has suited up for the last time collegiately. Professionally, however…
“I don’t want to regret not taking a shot at the NFL,” Smith said according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s something I might look back on and regret. I talked to a lot of people … The (pro) level can suit some people better than the college level. Everybody sees with quarterbacks that it’s hard to predict what happens. You work hard enough and persevere long enough, maybe something good will come.”
Smith’s appeal for a sixth season was based on on the fact that he missed the equivalent of two seasons at Kentucky with ankle and shoulder injuries. Smith won the starting job after transferring from UK in January of last year, but sustained a torn ACL at the end of the year that would’ve made his availability for the 2016 uncertain to begin with.
After coming to the Aztecs as a grad transfer, Smith started the first 11 games of last season before the injury. He completed 55 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions in 200 attempts.