Weekly Feature



2015-02-11 / Sports

Sweet Home’s Smiley to play football at UB

PATRICK NAGY
Sports Reporter


Sweet Home’s Brandon Smiley, first row, center, signed a national letter of intent to play football at the University at Buffalo Wednesday. He is pictured with his parents, Monique and Timothy. Pictured in the second row is Athletics Director Chris DeMarco, football coach John Faller and Superintendent Anthony Day. Sweet Home’s Brandon Smiley, first row, center, signed a national letter of intent to play football at the University at Buffalo Wednesday. He is pictured with his parents, Monique and Timothy. Pictured in the second row is Athletics Director Chris DeMarco, football coach John Faller and Superintendent Anthony Day. Brandon Smiley won’t have to go far to continue his football career.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Sweet Home senior signed a Division I national letter of intent with the University at Buffalo on Wednesday at the Vergils Center of Sweet Home High School.

“It feels great,” Smiley said. “It’s close to home and I wanted my family and friends to be able to watch me play. I fell in love with the academics and the campus.”

Smiley verbally committed to UB in the spring of 2014 under then coach Jeff Quinn. Even when Quinn was fired midseason and replaced after the season by Lance Leipold, Smiley had no hesitation about staying.

“He’s a winning coach,” Smiley said. “I fell in love with the academics and the campus.”

Smiley played wide receiver and defensive back for three years at Sweet Home, but will only play receiver for the Bulls.

Smiley was a huge cog in the Panthers’ success. In his three years as a starter, Smiley posted a 30-4 record, two section titles and an appearance in the Class A state final as a sophomore.

He recorded 30 receptions for 515 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior year and holds school records for career receiving receptions (68), yards (1,148) and TDs (18).

He also carried the ball 49 times for 468 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Smiley’s biggest catch of his career was a game-winning 15-yard reception between two South Park defenders on fourth-and-10 in the Section VI Class A final.

Smiley finished the game, which secured the Panthers’ seventh sectional crown in eight years, with six receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

Smiley also was a finalist for the Connolly Cup, given to the top player in Western New York, and was an All-Bee First Team for offense and defense; two-time Class A North Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-WNY First Team selection. He was recently named to the Class A All-New York State First Team Defense.

“Sweet Home has had great athletes and Brandon is at the top of the list,” Sweet Home coach John Faller said. “I’m happy he has a chance to get a college education and still play sports at a high level. I’m positive he will compete anywhere that they put him and that he will represent our school and his teammates well.”

Smiley joins local players Jordan Johnson (Sweet Home), Joe Licata (Williamsville South), and incoming freshman Evin Ksiezarczyk (West Seneca East) and Duke Hwang (Williamsville North) on UB’s roster.

Smiley will major in business administration and hopes to be a human resources manager.

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