Smithfield's top 2012 QB, Jermaal Wells, not on roster this season
Jermaal Wells, considered the top returning quarterback in the Bay Rivers District, will not play this season for the Smithfield High football team, Packers coach Clark Harrell said Tuesday.

Harrell would not elaborate on why Wells is no longer on the roster, but said he has not practiced with the Packers so far and will not be part of the team this season.

“We lose a big athlete who can throw the ball a mile,” Harrell said of Wells, who started at quarterback in 2012 as a sophomore and helped the Packers earn a share of the district title. “But this is not a disaster for this team.

“We have a guy, (junior) Devin Williams, who quarterbacked our undefeated JV team last year and is looking pretty good. Devin is very fast, very athletic and very coachable.

“He throws well underneath, has a lot of speed around him, and I think he will be very solid.”

Wells, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior, led the Packers in total yards last year despite being slowed for several games with a sprained ankle. He threw for 828 yards and 10 touchdowns against only three interceptions, while rushing for 510 yards and seven touchdowns.

Scout.com recently posted in a story titled “Wells Is One To Watch” that he “had a breakout season last fall. Now (he's) preparing for an even bigger junior campaign.”

Smithfield, 10-2 and a Region I Division 4 finalist a year ago, now enters that campaign minus Wells. Harrell said he thinks the team will be fine nonetheless.

“I've coached a long time and I've lost players to injuries, grades, car wrecks, girlfriends and jobs. Life goes on.

“You need a quarterback who can manage the game, run the offense and not beat you. We have that in Devin.”