WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- We're nearly a week past the first day high school seniors are permitted to sign National Letters of Intent for football, but last night was the first chance we've had the opportunity to catch up with Weymouth wide receiver Khary Bailey-Smith since he signed with UMass exactly one week ago.
Bailey-Smith, a member of ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Team last fall after catching 936 yards and 13 touchdowns. He spoke with us as he warmed up for the Wildcats' basketball contest with Newton North, an eventual 73-63 loss.
When he decided: "The night before [Jan. 31]. I was pretty sure a couple days earlier, but I was still going back and forth in my mind about whether I felt like it was the right school for me. But I made the right decision."
What made it the right decision: "The chance to play football at Division 1 [FBS] level. And also, the chance to jump with track, and it's not too far away from home."
His duties with the track and field program: "High jump. I'll probably just do spring, because of football."
Other schools he considered: "UConn and Pitt. They were partial scholarships for track."
What the coaching staff envisions his role being: "They said the best player gets to play. They have me coming in at safety, and that if they need help at wide receiver on offense and I show up at practice, do my stuff, I'm looking good at wide receiver, then maybe I'll get a shot. But, more defense, and it's up to me to show that I have what it takes to play on the field."
What he'll be working on between now and the day he reports to camp: "We haven't really talked about that much yet. I'm just trying to relax a little bit after that stressful period, but I'll get back in touch in not too long, and we'll talk about that more...I'm going to go train and do some conditioning, and I'm doing spring track so that should keep me in shape. I'll go out with Cam [quarterback Cam McLevedge], who's going to St. Anselm, and catch some passes, run routes, work on my coverage and technique."
On his official visit to UMass: "I took it the weekend before signing day. I liked it, it was fun there. Everyone got along really well, and the coaching staff sounded like they were into this. It sold me."
Did he go down to Gillette Stadium? "No, but I've been there a couple times, seen it. It's a very nice facility, and I can't wait to call it home."