By Michael Carvell, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
One of Alabama’s star football recruits stopped by an Atlanta hospital to visit a girl who was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. Geno Smith is a senior at St. Pius, ranked as the No. 8 defensive back in the country by Rivals, and signed with Alabama over Auburn last February. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Smith was approached last week about going to see the younger sister of one of his classmates, Grace Buckel. The 12-year-old girl was diagnosed with cancer in her leg last month and was hospitalized at Scottish Rite (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta).
Grace is an Alabama fan and her parents thought a visit by Geno might cheer her up. Smith and his St. Pius teammate, Nick Maiolo, made the special trip last Friday. “I was happy to do it,” Smith told the AJC. “We just hung out and talked a little football.” “It was very nice of Geno,” said Grace’s mother, Cindy Buckel. “He’s kind of a quiet guy, very unassuming. Grace was very surprised when he walked in. She enjoyed having him in the room. They took pictures, and they just talked. “Even the doctor that came in to check on her during that time knew who Geno was, and asked for his autograph, which I thought was kind of funny. She enjoyed the time he was there. It made the time go by faster.” [More]