Nature Coast star running back arrested

Nature Coast senior running back DeShawn Smith, who led the nation in both rushing yards and touchdowns last fall, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with burglary.
According to the arrest report filed by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Smith, 18, and three juveniles were involved in a break-in at a residence located at 11260 Claymore St. in Spring Hill on Tuesday afternoon.
A resident of the home was able to identify three of the suspects, including Smith, off video surveillance footage from a neighboring house. Forced entry appeared to occur through the master bedroom window, and $150 and two pairs of Air Jordan sneakers were reported stolen.
On Wednesday, Smith was located at his home and taken in for questioning. He admitted to being present with the other three suspects, and that he broke a window using a rock. He also sustained a cut to his right forearm upon reaching through the broken glass to retrieve the rock.
Smith stated that he placed a backpack taken from the residence in another suspect’s car, but was unaware of the backpack’s contents.
Later on Wednesday he formally was charged with burglary of a dwelling, a felony, and released on $2,000 bond with a court appearance set for May 24.
When reached on his cellphone Thursday, Smith declined to comment on the incident. He was named Mr. Football by the Florida Dairy Farmers and an All-American by Parade magazine following a 2015 season in which he rushed for 3,715 rushing yards and totaled a state-record 66 touchdowns.
In February, he signed with Savannah State University in Georgia. Smith said he had not yet heard from the school concerning his arrest and any impact it might have on his future with the Division I Football Championship Subdivision football program.
He was also unsure of his status for this weekend’s track and field FHSAA Finals, in which he had qualified for both the 100-meter dash and long jump.
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.

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