Almount Smith turns into catch for Southfield Bradford
Southfield — Almount Smith had a point to make.
“This is my first year playing high school ball and a lot of people had been doubting me ever since I came to Southfield Bradford, so I just had to go out and show them what I could do,” Smith said.
And he’s done just that for Southfield Bradford Academy.
A 6-foot-4, 185-pound senior receiver, Smith has 33 receptions for 717 yards and 10 touchdowns (six receiving, two rushing, two punt returns).
His highlight was a touchdown pass in the Week 2 victory over Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.
“I had dropped a touchdown pass at the beginning of the game and ever since I dropped that I just kept saying to myself, ‘Make a play, make a play,’ and then I had two big punt returns and a game-tying touchdown and we went on to triple overtime and won,” Smith said. “I feel my strength is running after the catch because I don’t go down easily.”
Neither does Bradford, which competes in the Charter School Conference and is 7-2 — good for a spot in the the Division 5 playoffs.
As for Smith, football was never on his radar until his father tricked him into playing the sport when he was 11 years old.
“My dad had tricked me into going to the park while I was actually going to PAL football when I was 11, and I liked it ever since,” Smith said. “I wasn’t very good my first year, but then after that, I wanted to play every day.”
Smith played PAL (Police Athletic League) ball his freshman year at Old Redford. But poor academics prevented him from playing as a sophomore, and he soon transferred to Detroit Cornerstone, which didn’t play football.
“I didn’t have that motivation to do work, things like that,” Smith said.
That’s not the case now.
“I went from having a 2.0 GPA to now above 3.0,” he said.
Football is back in play, too.
And third-year coach Bradford coach Ki’erre Gaut couldn’t be happier.
“This is his very first year of playing high school ball and he’s performing like a guy who has been out there for years,” Gaut said. “His speed sets him apart and he catches the ball well. He’s really, really fast, he’s lanky and stretches the field well.
“He’s been a player who has really helped our program.”
And, Smith is gaining some attention outside the program, too — from Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Iowa State an Toledo.
Not bad for one year of playing the game.