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Halladay, Smith Pick Colleges : High school football: BYU lands Hart receiver and Montclair Prep running back says he’ll go to Illinois.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Running back Wilbert Smith of Montclair Prep and wide receiver Soren Halladay of Hart High have made oral commitments to attend Division I universities.

Smith, second in the state in scoring this season, has committed to Illinois. Halladay, co-player of the year in the Foothill League, has chosen Brigham Young.

The signing period for high school seniors begins Feb. 2.

Smith, who also made a recruiting visit to Texas, said he chose Illinois because he likes his chances to become the team’s starting tailback as a freshman.

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“They had to move a fullback to tailback last year because they didn’t have one,” Smith said. “I just felt right there. And I liked their academic support system for athletes.”

Halladay turned down offers to visit Utah State and Colorado State.

“I’m Mormon, and (BYU) is a Mormon school,” Halladay said. “Growing up, I always dreamed of playing for BYU. And I have some relatives who live in Provo. Some schools showed interest in me, but the minute they heard about BYU and that I was Mormon. . . . “

Smith (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) ranked third in the state with 2,512 yards rushing in 236 carries (a 10.6-yard average) and led the Mounties (10-1) to the second round of the Southern Section Division VII playoffs. He scored 41 touchdowns--32 rushing--and finished with 248 points.

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Halladay (6-2, 185) had 49 receptions for 1,062 yards and 10 touchdowns and also had two interceptions as a defensive back. He helped lead Hart (10-2) to a league championship and the second round of the Division II playoffs.


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