Cam Smith, Anthony Wilson and Jalen Geiger played together in the recreation leagues in the Columbia area. It is only fitting the trio finishes their high school playing career together.
All three defensive backs will be teammates this week for the South Carolina squad in the 82nd annual Shrine Bowl at Wofford College.
“It is amazing. I grew up with Cam and Anthony and playing our last game at the Shrine Bowl is a blessing,” Geiger said Wednesday after the morning practice at Spartanburg High School.
The three players were teammates on the 2013 Blythewood Bengals Jr. Midget State Championship team. Smith was a defensive end on the team, Wilson played linebacker and Geiger defensive back. All have transitioned to the secondary since then and have a differing opinion who the best of the group is.
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“I’m going to say me,” Wilson joked. “We all are dogs. It is great to be flying around with these guys for the last time in our careers.”
The three went their separate ways in high school but remained good friends. Smith played in Maryland for two years before returning to Westwood High School for his senior season. Wilson played two years at Hammond and Geiger was at Cardinal Newman before the two transferred to Spring Valley for their final two years.
The three players were part of the same 7-on-7 team this summer, the Carolina Grind.
The trio will be playing on the Division I level next season. Smith is headed to South Carolina and will enroll in January. Geiger is going to Kentucky and Wilson is headed to Georgia Southern. The two will sign next week but won’t enroll at their schools until after graduation.
“We all progressed the right way, got in the weight room like we were supposed to, worked on technique to get where we are right now,” Smith said. “We always had chemistry. It brings back memories all the good times we had, the great experiences we had.”
The three defensive backs are part of a heavy Midlands presence in the secondary for the South Carolina squad. Dutch Fork safety Hugh Ryan also is in the defensive backfield, making four of the eight defensive backs from the Columbia area.
At least two of them were on the field at the same time together during practice.
Ryan is coming off a third straight championship with Dutch Fork on Friday and said it has been fun getting to know guys he played against in his high school career.
“Great guys and fun to talk to,” Ryan said. “It is kind of cool we are representing the Midlands and representing our schools well.”
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: Wofford College
TV/Internet: ESPN3 (Will be be shown on ESPNU at a later date)