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CHARLOTTE, NC – Daylon Smothers, an electrifying running back who led Vance High School to the 2020 North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 4AA football state championship, as a sophomore, and returned to lead the Cougars to the 2021 title game, after the school changed its name to Julius L. Chambers High, has been ruled ineligible by the NCHSAA for the 2022 season after transferring to West Charlotte High.

Smothers, one of the top running back recruits in the nation, rushed for 1,581 yards and 28 touchdowns last fall. This followed a sophomore campaign in which he gained 1,206 yards and scored 12 touchdowns in 10 games. In a consensus of the major recruiting services, he is rated the 10th best recruit in North Carolina and 13th best running back in the nation. He has scholarship offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, Michigan and a host of other Power 5 programs, including North Carolina State, which is considered the favorite to win his services.

In April, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound four-star recruit took to Instagram to post an 11-minute video in which he announced his intentions to play his senior season at West Charlotte.

Last week, several North Carolina newspapers reported that Smothers had been ruled ineligible for his senior year. Desmond Smothers, Dylan’s father, confirmed the news and the fact that the decision is being appealed, to the The News & Observer.

“I don’t have much to say,” Desmond Smothers told The Observer. “We do have lawyers involved. It’s just an unfortunate situation and my son is innocent in this whole thing. He had nothing to do with an address change or anything like that. I hate he’s been put in the middle of this as a child. I’m meeting with the lawyers this week and I don’t know when we’ll go before the (CMS Board of Education) and appeal it. But hopefully, it’ll be soon, so we can concentrate on what’s important.”

Smothers attended Ranson Middle School, a feeder school to West Charlotte, but moved to live with his father so he could attend Vance prior to his freshman year. Recently, however, he moved back with his mother in Charlotte so he could attend West Charlotte in the fall.

If he is not successful with his appeal it is not likely that Smothers will remain sidelined in the fall. His options include transferring to a private school in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) or enrolling in a prep school.