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January 23, 2013Follow @SeanWKURivals
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Hilltopper fans have been anticipating this news for quite some time and finally dreams have become a reality as quarterback Demarcus Smith is now, officially, academically eligible to play football.
Smith has been enrolled at Western Kentucky for the past year, working to crawl out of the black hole of ineligibility.
The legend of Demarcus Smith started back in 2011, where he was a four-star prospect out of Seneca (KY) High School. He originally committed to his hometown school Louisville, only to flip on national signing day (to the dismay of all Louisvillians) for Central Florida.
He attempted to get out of his national letter of intent at Central Florida but was denied by head coach George O' Leary. Smith was eventually ruled academically ineligible for the Golden Knights and ended up at WKU for the 2012 spring semester.
And now he gets a second chance.
With Smith's newfound academic freedom to finally play college football, first-year WKU head coach Bobby Petrino will now have an intriguing battle for starting quarterback during the spring and fall practice sessions.
While many are already anointing Demarcus Smith as the starting quarterback for next season, I have a feeling James Mauro and Brandon Doughty will have a say in the matter.
Let us not forget that James Mauro came off the bench in Jonesboro, Arkansas with WKU facing a 13-point deficit only to lead the Hilltoppers to a 26-13 win over the Red Wolves.
Let us not forget that Brandon Doughty once replaced a struggling Kawaun Jakes as starting quarterback in 2011 against Indiana State, but unfortunately tore his ACL on the very first offensive series. Doughty saw limited action last season setting third on the depth chart, but will be completely healthy for some spring football.
With all those things considered, Western Kentucky now has three viable candidates to run the high-powered Petrino offense. May the battle for the #1 spot begin.
Western Kentucky NEWS