Chris Smelley is now a member of the Crimson Tide. The official details from a UA Media Relations release that just arrived in my inbox:
TUSCALOOSA â€” The University of Alabama announced today that former South Carolina quarterback and three-time Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) state baseball champion Chris Smelley has been granted a waiver by the Southeastern Conference and will be eligible to play baseball for the Crimson Tide this season.
Smelley enrolled at Alabama on Jan. 12 and began practicing with the team immediately. He will be a redshirt sophomore this season and have three years of eligibility remaining.
A 2006 graduate of American Christian Academy , Smelley earned All-State honors in both baseball and football. He was an Alabama Sports Writers Association and Birmingham News All-State selection at catcher, where he played for his father, Bart Smelley. He also earned All-State recognition as a quarterback and played linebacker and defensive back for Coach Stephen Hooks.
On the diamond, Smelley was a three-year letterman and three-time state champions, leading the Patriots to three consecutive Class 1A state championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He was the most valuable player in the 2005 Class 1A state finals. He was recognized as a â€œSuper Nineâ€ baseball player by The Tuscaloosa News and was named to the 2006 Super All-State team by The Birmingham News. As a prep senior, he hit .421 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI for the Patriots.
Smelley was a Super 12 All-State selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) in 2005. He set an AHSAA record with 59 touchdown passes during his senior season. He holds AHSAA records for most touchdown passes in a career (134); most passing yards in a game (565); and most passing yards in a season (4,120). He ranks second in the AHSAA with 10,385 career passing yards. He was the 2005 Alabama Gatorade High School Player of the Year.
He spent the last three seasons as a quarterback for Coach Steve Spurrier at the University of South Carolina . In 21 career games, he posted a 9-6 record as the Gamecocksâ€™ starting quarterback. In 12 games this season, Smelley completed 169 of 302 passes (56 percent) for 1,922 yards and 14 touchdowns. He threw 15 interceptions. He was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week after leading South Carolina to a 31-24 victory over Mississippi in 2008. He completed 22 of 32 passes for a career-high 327 yards and three touchdowns.