When college football recruiters ask Midwest City coach Darrell Hall how fast MaKale Smith is, he tells them the truth.
“I say, ‘I don’t know. He’s just faster than the other guy,'” says Hall with a chuckle.
Smith, a decorated basketball player as well, is often playing AAU hoops when the football team does its testing days. The lack of an official 40 time hasn’t hindered interest in the two-sport star. He committed to play football at Oklahoma State in June, prior to his senior season.
“I really just wanted to stay around here for college,” admitted Smith, a three-star prospect listed among the top 20 players in Oklahoma in the class of 2020. “Oklahoma State is where I want to be.”
Smith has helped lead the Bombers to a 7-2 record this season, with lone losses to Carl Albert, the top-ranked team in 5A, and Stillwater, the second-ranked team in 6A-II.
“He makes things happen,” said Hall, who’s in his ninth season at Midwest City after successful stints at Booker T. Washington in Tulsa and Star Spencer in Oklahoma City. “He’s just one of those guys. Offensively, we love to see single, man coverage on him. Defensively, he can matchup with anybody. He can jump out of the gym. He’s just tough.”
Smith led the team with five interceptions last season. This season, those numbers might be down, but it’s likely due to teams avoiding throwing the ball in his direction.
“I think people are staying away from him,” stated Hall. “I know I would. The other day against Stillwater he had double digit tackles. He had a tackle that caused a fumble. He’s still playing really well on defense.”
He may project as a defensive back at the next level, but the Bombers are getting a lot of big-play production from Smith on the offensive side of the ball as well.
“He’s a big time receiver that has the ability and the speed to get behind people,” claimed Hall. “He’s always been fast enough to get the job done. We feel real confident with any matchup on him.”
“I try to beat them off the line,” said Smith, who had a receiving touchdown and a kickoff return for another score last month against Putnam City North. “If I can beat them off the line, I automatically convert it to a fade (route). If I can get the ball, I’m going to try and break it for a score.”
“My basketball coach told me it would be better for me for when I come back to basketball so I just tried it out,” remarked Smith. “In football, having played basketball helps with my athleticism and my balance. In basketball, having played football just makes me stronger and quick. I can get to the rim.”
“I love basketball players coming out to play football,” admitted Hall. “The best athletes are in the gym. Those are the cats. They’re starting to realize there’s a lot more money in football. Basketball might have 20 scholarships and football you can triple that. There’s more opportunities for them. They all want to go to college. If they can go to college and get it paid for, that’s a win-win.”
#3 Midwest City plays host to #5 Booker T. Washington on Friday, November 20th, in a huge 6A-II quarterfinal showdown. Hall coached the Hornets for two seasons and won a state title in 2010. YurView will televise this Ford Game of the Week on Cox Channel 3 at 7 pm CT or watch this game online.
“I love the challenge,” said Hall of facing his former team. “Everybody knows if you’re playing Booker T. you better bring your ‘A’ game. I still have a lot of great friends that are there from when I was there. But when the bell goes ding-ding, all bets are off and we aren’t friends anymore until the game is over and then we’re friends again.”
“We just have to play hard and keep fighting,” added Smith. “We’re not losing again.”