Best Friends take on the Next Level

Landon Wilson, Reporter/Photographer

  Two lifelong friends, Jordan Smith and Stephen Dean, signed to Virginia Military Institute(VMI) this past week. All the way from Pee-Wee Football to Varsity, these two have been friends on and off the field.

  Senior Jordan Smith was a three-year varsity starter for the Lions. This past season he recorded 70 tackles and five forced turnovers playing outside linebacker(LB). Smith was a two way star who played running back(RB) and receiver as well. On the offensive side, he had 935 rushing yards, 15 receptions for 277 yards, and 12 total touchdowns. Smith earned first team all district for both RB and LB, second team all region defensive all-purpose, and second team all region running back.

  Growing up,  he knew he always wanted to play at the next level. Smith accomplished his goals by receiving several D1 offers from schools such as VMI and Bucknell. After he toured VMI and learned more about the school, his decision was made. Playing with his lifelong best friend at the D1 level is a dream come true.

  “There was always a thought in my head that we could be playing college football together,” Smith said.

  Smith will be attending VMI in the fall with a full scholarship where he will major in engineering and play defensive back. He’s excited to continue playing the sport he loves while meeting new people and building lifelong friendships.

  Senior, Stephen Dean was a three-year varsity player as well. Last fall, he recorded 100 tackles, two forced fumbles, a blocked punt, and three interceptions. His solid senior campaign made him the Jefferson District Defensive Player of the Year(x2), All Central Virginia Defensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-Region. On the offensive side, Dean brought in seven catches for 118 yards and a touchdown.

  Dean will also attend VMI in the fall with a full ride. He will major in biology and play linebacker. The decision where he wanted to go was fairly clear after a visit to the campus.

  “They were true throughout the whole process and once they offered they showed nothing but love and support. The official visit was the icing on the cake for me,” Dean said.

  Getting to do what he loves for four more years while earning a diploma is an amazing opportunity. Dean accomplished his goal of playing D1 football, and he won’t be living out his dream alone because his best friend will be playing alongside him.

  “I’m very excited, it feels unreal. We’ve been playing together ever since we were six. Once Jordan made his decision to go to VMI, I went and told my parents right away,” Dean said.