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Walton running back Sutton Smith, formerly of McEachern, committed to the University of Memphis to play his college football.

Walton running back Sutton Smith recently committed to play football at the University of Memphis.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound three-star prospect announced his commitment to the Tigers via social media.

Smith had offers from about 20 schools — including Purdue, Nebraska and Vanderbilt — but chose Memphis because of its family environment.

“The love I got from the coaches, you know,” Smith said. “You can tell if someone really wants you, and the head coach used to text me everyday and check up on me.”

Smith also said he chose Memphis because of its reputation of being a strong running back university. They have had a lot of recent success with sending running backs to the NFL.

Over the last three seasons, the Tigers have had three backs selected in the top four rounds of the NFL Draft. In 2020 Antonio Gibson was drafted in the third round by the Washington Football Team, while Darrell Henderson was selected by the LA Rams in the third round and Dallas took Tony Pollard in the fourth. Former Pro Bowl running back DeAngelo Williams is another former Tiger. He was a first round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2006.

“It’s the perfect fit for me,” Smith said. “What they do with their running backs, they’re really good at developing their running backs.

“They recruit their running backs to where they can do multiple things with them, you know, put a lot of them at receiver or in the backfield. They put them in the best position to help their team and use a unique skill set.”

In high school, Smith spent his first three years of high school at McEachern, and will spend his senior year at Walton.

During his junior season at McEachern, Smith caught 20 passes for 253 yards at wide receiver for the Indians. At running back, he ran for 64 yards on 17 attempts, and he scored four total touchdowns.

Smith is excited to arrive at Memphis after he graduates from Walton next spring, and he is excited to prove himself.

“They believe in me, so now I just got to do my part,” Smith said. “You know, represent the program well, as well as the city. (I got to) get a good education, you know, and make my parents proud, and I want to win.

“I’m going to just stay humble through it all, and give my glory to God.”

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