NOTASULGA, Ala. (WIAT) — Most of the time, ninth graders fly under the radar but Jamarkius Smith has people crowding around it.
“People all the time, you’ll see people will be standing by the radar just to see how hard he’s going to throw next,” 14-U assistant coach Jed Martin said.
It’s hard to go unnoticed when you’re 14 years old and throwing 90 miles per hour, standing at 6 foot 2.
“There was a lady that came up to me last week and asked me how hard I threw, and I told her. She said she’d been watching me,” Smith said.
With his climb to stardom, it’s safe to assume he’s not much of a secret weapon anymore.
“No, everybody knows about him. They’ve known about him since they were nine or 10,” Martin said.
What went through this young athlete’s head the first time he threw over 90 mph?
“I was happy, and I just kept doing it, and it kept coming,” Smith said.
Smiths says the key is to the perfect throw through your legs, but some say if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.
“I’ve got kids that work harder — that do more work and they still don’t throw as hard as he does. It’s God-given talent. He was literally born that way,” Martin said.
Martin said Jamarkius would love to play for Auburn and had an inside scoop for the Tigers’ head coach.
“I would tell him to throw his slider. He’s got a drop off the plate slider. Kids are going to have the fastball, a lot of kids have a fastball, but his slider is unbelievable. Major League Baseball rotation already at 14,” Martin said.
MLB is part of Smith’s ultimate goal to the top, and he’ll be turning heads all the way up.
“I’m the GOAT. I’m Jamarkius Smith and I’m the GOAT,” Smith said.
“Keep an eye out for him. He’s going to make something. Jamarkius Smith, remember the name,” said Martin.
With a name we’ll likely hear for years to come, Jamarkius Smith is our Athlete of the Week.