- Written by Kendal Smith
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When playing the safety position you are the last line of defense all the time, no matter the type of play call. It’s crucial to have the ability to drop in coverage or come up and get your nose dirty in stuffing the running game. You’re somewhat the quarterback of the defense, being able to watch everything develop in front of you and knowing where to attack. Not everyone can play this position. You need a guy with a combination of size, quickness, speed, range and most importantly, tackling ability.
Jonoven Smith is that guy. He's a versatile ball-hawking free safety at Fullerton Union High School. J9onoven is 3-sport athlete who plays basketball and competed in track and field events like the long, triple, and high jumps. This Class of 2018 prospect finished his junior year compiling 77 total tackles, 5 interception, 6 pass break-ups, an a forced fumble. He is a consummate team player that will do whatever it takes for his team to win even if that means lining up on special teams to recover an onside kick or lining up on offense in the slot and taking a quick bubble screen 62 yards for a touchdown. He's not afraid to lead by example and consistently sets the tone which is no wonder he was named team captain for both his junior and senior years.
Jonoven's football journey began at birth as he was born into a football family. His Father is a coach and former player and is definitely someone he looks up to as his role model. His Uncle and Grandfather were also player/coaches. Every time he steps on the field he says to himself, “I want to make my Grandpa proud”.
Jonoven's football career began at the Pop Warner level at the age of 6. Many of the relationships he started long ago are still going strong. He's either played with or alongside nearly 15 of his current teammates. Jonoven said playing football helps off the field as well because it has help build character and boosts his competitive nature and always striving to be the best even that also means picking up a controller to play his favorite video game, NBA 2K17 and dominating. Although residing in California, Jonoven is a big time Minnesota Vikings fan, and his favorite player is Adrian Peterson.
Putting in work on the practice field, film study and competing on the gridiron can be tough and certainly has its challenges. But, so does being a student-athlete. Jonoven has not lost track of what's ultimately important and has the academic numbers to prove it as he currently carries a cumulative GPA of 3.6. Aside from playing college football, Jonoven has his sights set on a Business degree and the NFL, of course. In the meantime, his football season is all year-round. He currently trains with Coach Prentice Byrd at Explosive Athletic Training #EAT and is also integral part of their 7v7 team.
Jonoven is a pure Ball hawk. He can cover the field and has a nose for the ball. -Coach Byrd
In addition to fielding considerable interest from the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona, Princeton, and Wyoming there is no denying Jonoven's bright future on and off the field.