Smith Snowden loves to perform.
Up until around seventh or eighth grade, Snowden’s life was on the stage, acting and singing in productions such as “The Lion King,” “Shrek,” “Wizard of Oz” and “Hairspray” at the Hale Center Theater in Orem.
Now, the Skyridge High School junior performs on a different stage — the football field.
When it comes to his college recruitment, Snowden is being sought after for his defensive skills at cornerback. His speed helps, too, even if he’s considered undersized at his position at 5-foot-9.
“It used to be something that bugged me, but now it’s something that motivates me,” Snowden said about his height.
Snowden recently narrowed his college choices to eight schools. Three of them are in his home state of Utah — BYU, Utah and Utah State. He has already taken an official visit to Northwestern, and plans to take two more with the Cougars and Utes. The other two official visits, he said, are as of yet undecided.
But he is seriously considering staying in-state for college for a few reasons.
“I feel like I’ve built such a good relationship with both coaching staffs, so I feel comfortable with that,” Snowden said, referring to Utah and BYU. “Being close to my family is another. That’s a big thing, too. It’d be nice to be closer to my family. I feel like the opportunity in Utah, or just in the state of Utah, is just really high. So that’s probably some of the better things I’m looking at.”
But Snowden is also open to going elsewhere. While his parents attended BYU, he said they are not influencing him to attend any particular school.
Snowden recently took his official visit to Northwestern in Chicago. He said he got to sit in on team meetings and film sessions, while also getting some feedback on what the film of his own game showed.
“They just kind of told me what they could help me with, what I could work on,” Snowden said of his Northwestern visit.
Snowden is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so he would be available for his chosen football team immediately after high school.
Skyridge lost in the 6A semifinals to eventual-champion Lone Peak last year. But that same season, Snowden was a captain as a junior, which he attributes to his outgoing nature that comes from acting.
“My team usually doesn’t do that because they usually give it to the seniors,” Snowden said. “But I was a captain my junior year, so that was pretty cool and I feel like that definitely helped me out to get that role.”
Snowden said he doesn’t have a set timeline for when he’ll make his college decision.
Editor’s note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.