On Wednesday February 1, Fort Hamilton High School played host to this year’s 2017 NCAA National Signing Day for two former Varsity Tiger football players – Blake Smaw and Seba Nekhet who accepted athletic scholarship offers to attend two local colleges.
From the Class of 2016, Smaw returned to Fort Hamilton to sign with Wagner College after attending Fork Union Prep School in Virginia after graduation.
Initially, Smaw was passed over by college scouts during 2016. Playing only for a single season in the PSAL after he relocated along with his family from Japan to the Fort Hamilton Army Base, Smaw got very few “looks” from colleges.
The decision to go to prep school paid off according to Smaw who stated. “I improved my game there and got a lot more looks in Virginia.”
After playing football on military bases in Japan, Smaw surprised everyone with his level of play. “Blake was a real steal for this team,” maintained Tiger Coach Dan Perez. “He made our defense better immediately and he led the team with seven interceptions as a defensive back.”
From this year’s 2017 graduating class, Tiger quarterback Nekhet finished as a 1,000-yard rusher and a 600-yard passer who caught the eye of scouts from Stony Brook University during his 2016 junior season.
After attending a summer camp and touring the Stony Brook campus, the four-year varsity player knew that the eastern Long Island school would be the right fit for him.
“He caught everything that we threw to him,” said Coach Perez who right away considered Nekhet as a freshman for the Varsity four years ago after seeing him perform at a summer Big Apple Workout.
Besides praise from Coach Perez, Principal Kaye Houlihan added, “Congratulations to our stellar athletes and stellar students who are good members of the Fort Hamilton community both on and off the field. It was a pleasure to watch you on the field and I look forward to hearing good reports about you at the college level.”