football Edit

Four-star WR CJ Smith to forgo remainder of 2021 season

Gators Territory just spoke with the father of four-star wide receiver, CJ Smith, who says his son will be forgoing the remainder of the football season along with track and field next spring.

Smith, a Gators commit who represents Orlando (Fla.) Bishop Moore, has been dealing with a partial meniscus tear since his freshman year and needs time to rehab before shifting his focus to life in Gainesville. He suffered an ACL injury during his freshman year, which is when the slight tear took place, so this is a kid who has been making a major splash in multiple sports while not being 100 percent healthy.

While shutting it down is certainly a difficult pill to swallow, Smith's decision prevents any long-term damage with a promising career ahead of him.

"He is going to forgo his football and track career because he's been managing this torn meniscus, so it's been aggravating," said St. Francis Smith, the father of CJ.

"We talked to the UF staff, the trainers, coach Savage, Dr. Farmer, and they gave us guidance saying that it's going to be a matter of time before it gives away. So, would we rather do it now and just get him prepared to go to UF next year, or will he continue to put himself at risk? That's where we had to really sit down and say, 'OK, what you've accomplished with that meniscus, the state 100 and 200-meter times, you're running 10.2s with that torn meniscus.'

"You cannot waiver his demeanor, his attitude, his eagerness to be competitive and want to win, but now it's about taking care of CJ and what's best for CJ at this time. We're prepping for him to graduate early and report to UF in January."

Labeled as the nation's 39th-ranked wide receiver, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound committed to the Gators in June following a stellar official visit weekend in Gainesville. He was recently in attendance for the season opener against FAU and will be at the Swamp for the remainder of the home games as well. His recruitment is completely shut down.

In addition to Florida, Smith previously earned offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Auburn, Michigan, Georgia, Florida State and Ole Miss among others.

"When you first cut on CJ Smith’s tape, the first thing you notice is speed. He effortlessly pulls away from defenders and almost looks like he’s gliding across the field. Dan Mullen and the staff have made it a point to recruit speed this cycle, and CJ has plenty of that," said GT's Conner Clarke.

"At 6-foot-3 180 pounds, Smith has good size to play either inside or outside, creating mismatches all over the field for opposing defenses. Many people have compared him to former Gators wide receiver Trevon Grimes because of his size and speed, but Smith has that extra gear that strikes fear into the heart of defensive coordinators every time he is on the field."

Stay tuned to Gators Territory.