Utah standout to transfer in


Published: Wednesday, July 5, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 5, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
A little-known NCAA transfer rule that Florida coach Urban Meyer recently said he would like to see eliminated could have a positive impact on Florida's 2006 season.
Utah cornerback Ryan Smith, who will receive his degree in two weeks and has a year of playing eligibility remaining, plans to transfer to UF, where he will be eligible this fall and could fill the starting cornerback role left vacated by the departure of sophomore Avery Atkins.
Smith, an excellent student at Utah, is expected to receive his bachelor's degree in two weeks and will transfer to Florida, his father told Scout.com on Tuesday.
"We felt like this was the right time for him to announce it," said Ryan Smith's father, Lance Smith.
Meyer and UF cornerback coach Chuck Heater coached Ryan Smith at Utah, where he was a freshman All-America three years ago.
Under a little-known NCAA rule, which recently has become a hot-topic issue among coaches, athletes who receive their degree are free to transfer to another school and play immediately if they have playing eligibility remaining.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Smith has one year of eligibility remaining and is considered a strong candidate to replace Atkins as a starter at cornerback.
Atkins, facing charges that he struck the mother of his child and held her against her will last month in Daytona Beach, received his release from Meyer last week and will transfer to another school.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com

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