Franklin Regional expects senior Caden Smith to be commanding presence

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Saturday, August 14, 2021 | 6:51 PM


On the baseball field, Franklin Regional senior Caden Smith plays the outfield.

On the basketball court, he is the point guard.

So it makes sense that Franklin Regional football coach Lance Getsy is going to let the rare three-sport standout be a safety and call the defensive sets for the secondary this season.

“Caden is an imposing figure on defense at 6-foot-5,” Getsy said. “Hopefully, he’ll be a big presence on the defensive side of the ball.

“We’re hoping he can be that signal caller back there and make the checks to different motions and sets. He’s also versatile, Maybe we’ll move him around on the defensive side of the ball, too, and not keep him in center field all of the time.”

Smith is excited about his expanded role. He’s looking forward to making the calls on defense.

“Coach is letting me make the calls that I see while I’m on the field, which I like because I get to tell my guys what I see,” Smith said. “To be able to have the trust from my teammates and for me to make the calls is a big thing because it brings us together even more on the defense.”

Smith had 32 tackles (26 solo) during his junior season. He forced and recovered a fumble, had four interceptions, knocked down three passes and blocked two field goals.

“His work ethic and competitiveness makes him a special player,” Getsy said, “and obviously his size, too. He has that killer instinct. He wants to go against the best, and he’s a team leader.”

And while his niche is on defense, Smith will become more of a weapon on offense.

Getsy plans to utilize Smith’s height and quickness against smaller defensive backs.

“We didn’t target him as often last year,” Getsy said. “We’re looking to get him the ball at least 10 to 12 touches a game. We’re using him at different positions, and we’re going to move him around against different coverages.

“Caden runs good routes, and he loves to compete. He likes a challenge, and moving him around to get the matchups to favor us should help the quarterback find that target. You can’t coach 6-foot-5.”

Smith caught six passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns during his junior year. He was stuck behind some veteran receivers last season.

“I got invited to play for an AAU baseball program in the summer, but I was able to work out for football, too,” Smith said. “I’m excited to play receiver. I’m bigger and quicker than a lot of defensive backs.”

Smith said he’s been working out with the quarterbacks.

Franklin Regional has three players battling for the position Trevor Brncic occupied the past two seasons.

“All three bring different things to the offense,” Smith said. “The quarterback position will be a battle throughout camp.”

Smith is unsure what he’ll do in college. He doesn’t have any offers in football or baseball, but he is talking to coaches in both sports.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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