ATLANTA -- Former Tattnall Square star DeAndre Smelter has decided to move from the baseball team to the football team at Georgia Tech. He will be on a football scholarship for the fall season and will compete for a spot at wide receiver.
Smelter, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior who played three sports at Tattnall Square, chose baseball over football coming out of high school. A right-handed pitcher and outfielder, Smelter was a 14th-round draft choice by Minnesota in the 2010 draft but opted to attend Georgia Tech. His baseball career got off to a solid start. In 2011, Smelter started 15 games in the outfield and hit .222 with a double and seven RBI. He allowed only one earned run in 17-1/3 innings with a 0.52 ERA, the best among the relievers, and had 13 scoreless appearances. He got his first start in the NCAA Regional against Mississippi State.
His 2012 season was limited by a shoulder injury. He made only four appearances, posting an 8.53 ERA in only 6-1/3 innings. He was used occasionally as a pinch-runner.
This season has been a challenge for Smelter, who has a 6.55 ERA in 11 games, all in relief. He’s allowed nine runs in 11 innings, even though he has 10 strikeouts and opponents are hitting only .238 against him.
Smelter played four different positions on his high school football team (quarterback, running back, receiver and safety) and was an all-state selection in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was the GISA Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and holds the school record for receiving yards and interceptions.
Smelter will enter into a race for playing time at wide receiver that is quite open. There is very little experience returning at the position, and Georgia Tech is looking for players with good hands who are reliable receivers.