Kwinton Smith Passes on Texas Rangers to Play for Gamecocks
Although selected by the Texas Rangers in the 14th round of the draft, Dillon’s Smith did not sign by the 5:00 p.m. deadline on Friday, July 13.
It was a decision Smith says he wrestled with, as Smith had hoped to possibly work out an arrangement which would allow him to play football at USC and play for the Rangers in the off-season. But the arrangement didn’t work out, and after Texas withdrew an offer of $135,000 to sign, Smith decided it wasn’t worth leaving South Carolina for just yet.
But Smith added that he believes there could be bigger and better opportunities ahead.
Smith, at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, had already committed to playing football for USC in the fall, and has been at USC since May, taking summer courses and training. He will continue to work out with the Gamecocks team and is expected to play wide receiver in the fall. With the Rangers deal off the table, it is likely he will also play baseball for the Gamecocks as a walk on.At Dillon High, Smith played as a centerfielder and hit .438 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in his senior year. As a pitcher, he had a 3-0 record with 25 strikeouts and an earned run average of 1.27 in 22 innings.
As a football player, he had 34 catches for 564 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior year.
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said he thought that things just didn’t work out, but added that the Rangers would continue to follow Smith’s college career.
In addition to Smith, USC also kept baseball recruits Ryan Ripken and Max Schrock, but lost Corey Seager, Jamie Jarman, Jamie Callahan, Zac Wasilewski, and Dixon Llorens.
Callahan, also of Dillon, signed with Boston and is currently playing with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.