Josh Kendall

The fastest man at South Carolina's Pro Day wanted to be a Gamecock. Why wasn't he?

Columbia native Vyncint Smith, who played at Limestone, talks to his agent at South Carolina's Pro Day on Tuesday, March 20.
Columbia native Vyncint Smith, who played at Limestone, talks to his agent at South Carolina's Pro Day on Tuesday, March 20. jkendall@thestate.com

The player who had one of the best days at South Carolina’s Pro Day on Tuesday never played for the Gamecocks despite trying twice to join the team.

Vyncint Smith, a graduate of Westwood High School in Blythewood, ran a 4.36 40-yard dash in front of pro scouts in South Carolina’s indoor practice facility. That was the fastest time of the day by far and would have been the seventh-fastest time at the NFL Combine this year.

Smith, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver who played collegiately at Limestone, also had a 39.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-10 broad jump, both bests from the day.

“He had a fantastic workout,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “I wish he’d been a Gamecock.”

Smith wanted to be. South Carolina briefly recruited Smith during Steve Spurrier’s tenure as coach. During Smith’s junior season at Westwood, when Spurrier’s grandson Davis King was the quarterback at the school, Smith made two unofficial visits to the Gamecocks’ campus. However, King transferred to Hammond for his senior year, and Smith said he never saw or heard from a USC coach again.

“It was real messed up,” Smith said.

When he left Westwood, Smith had scholarship offers from Tusculum and Limestone, where he would end up starting all four seasons. He tried to transfer to USC as a walk-on during his sophomore season, he said, but a mix-up with his paperwork kept him from doing that and a coaching change at Limestone convinced him to finish his collegiate career there.

NFL scouts knew enough about Smith before Monday that they requested that South Carolina allow him to work out at the Gamecocks’ Pro Day, Muschamp said.

“I’m finally here,” he said, looking up at South Carolina’s mammoth indoor practice facility. “It means the world. I get to come out here to a great facility. It’s a lot better than I thought it would be. Definitely thank you to South Carolina for letting me come here and perform.”

Perform he did.

“They all liked my numbers,” Smith said. “I had to have my numbers match what my film showed. Playing at a lower level, they wanted to make sure everything looks how it looks on film. I think I did that very well. I am hearing (he will join a team) somewhere on the third day, whether I get drafted or picked up right after the draft, but definitely getting a chance.”

That’s all he’s been asking for.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick attended the 2018 South Carolina football pro timing day.

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