Smith makes commitment to play for Florida

When you're sure what you want, sometimes there's just no point in waiting around.

Wesleyan sophomore Betsy Smith, a first-team all-county volleyball performer this past season, publicly committed to the University of Florida on Thursday - 22 months before she will be able to sign a letter of intent and officially become a Gator.

"I'm so excited," said Smith, who was recently chosen as a finalist for National Sophomore of the Year by prepvolleyball.com. "I'm so excited to be a Gator."

The multi-talented Smith chose Florida over Georgia Tech and Penn State, among others.

With 21⁄2 years of high school still left for the 16-year-old, she knows it was a bit early to make a college decision. But Smith says she is totally at peace with her choice and can't wait to wear the orange and blue.

"I went on my first visit to Florida over Labor Day weekend," she said. "Then I took two other visits (to Penn State and Georgia Tech) and then I went to back to Florida and said, 'This is where I want to be.'"

Smith actually committed to Florida head coach Mary Wise in October, but wanted to wait until now to announce the decision publicly.

"To be fair, I wanted to let the rest of the coaches that were recruiting me know," Smith said. "So I had to make my phones calls to personally let them know."

The talented sophomore, who helped lead the Wolves to their second straight Class AA state title this past season, will be joining a program that is also used to winning.

The Gators have won 15 straight SEC titles, they've finished in the top 10 in the nation 11 of the last 15 years and in the top 5 in nine of the past 15.

They are always good, and that of course was very appealing to Smith.

"And that's just the volleyball part of it," she said. "Since I'm so young, I don't know exactly what I'm going to do and they offer so many majors. And it's a good school - that was another big reason."

With two more seasons left in her high school career, Smith knows her recruitment isn't really over. A verbal commitment isn't binding and her choice doesn't become official until November of 2007 when she signs the letter of intent.

So there will probably still be some letters. And some phone calls.

"Oh yeah, I have been told, 'If you decide to change your mind, we'll still be looking at you,'" Smith said. "But I'm really at peace with my decision. I know what I'm going to do."