L’Christian Smith was about to run a pass route at Ohio Stadium during “Friday Night Lights” when an encouragement boomed from the stands.
“You’re my boy, Blue,” a fan bellowed.
That brought laughs from the crowd, and a smile to Smith. His nickname is “Blue.” It has since he was an infant when he dealt with a congenital heart defect that robs the body of a full supply of oxygen leaving a blue complexion. The defect was repaired long ago, but the nickname endures.
The shout out was a borrowed line from Will Ferrell’s character in the movie “Back to School,” but at Ohio Stadium it had a nice ring to it. The irony was lost on no one, since the word “Michigan” is forbidden around the program by coach Urban Meyer and blue attire is banned.
But the recruitment of Smith, a four-star receiver from Huber Heights Wayne, has been a game-changer for Meyer.
“When he first started recruiting me, he mentioned changing my name to ‘Red’ or something like that,” Smith said, laughing. “But I told him I couldn’t do it. I’ve been a blue baby for so long … and he doesn’t want me to come up here and feel like I’d have to change myself or change anything about me.”
Now Meyer “loves it,” Smith said. “He thinks if I come up here it’s something I could build a brand off of. … It’s like I would be changing the culture, changing a lot of things, and that’s what I want to do. … I want to leave my own legacy, so that’s a good way to start it.”
The other school in Smith’s top two is Kentucky, whose primary school color is blue. He said he will announce his choice during Wayne’s season opener at Pine-Richland of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, Aug. 27 on ESPN.