Khi'on Smith plays running back, slot back, wide receiver, and Wildcat quarterback for the Deptford High School football team.

He also is a top defensive back and dynamic kick returner.

But the speedy senior lists one role above all others: Change agent of the perception of the Spartans' program.

"That's one thing that motivates me, motivates all of us," Smith said during a break in a recent Deptford practice. "People say, 'Oh, they're Deptford, they're not good. They don't play anybody.'

"We're trying to change that around. We're trying to change the culture and the way people think about Deptford football."

Second-year coach Steve Scuderi has the Spartans on the right track with a 2-0 record heading into Friday night's West Jersey Football League Colonial Division clash with 2-1 Collingswood.

Scuderi said Smith has led the way, on the field and off.

Deptford High School senior running back/defensive back Khi’on Smith (left) and his twin brother Naseem Smith (right) at practice.
Tom Gralish/Staff photographer
Deptford High School senior running back/defensive back Khi’on Smith (left) and his twin brother Naseem Smith (right) at practice.

"He's a great kid who works hard in school and outside," Scuderi said. "I think he's one of most underrated players around. I don't think people realize how good he is."

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Smith has led Deptford to victories over Overbrook and Woodstown. He ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns and returned a kickoff 97 yards for another score in the season-opening win over the Rams.

Last Friday against Woodstown, Smith ran for 180 yards and a score. He also has two catches for 62 yards and has been a shut-down cornerback for a defense that has allowed just 14 points.

"Whatever the coach asks me to do, I'll do," Smith said. "I'm blessed to be versatile. Anything to help my teammates, my brothers, I'll do it. I'll play line if they ask me."

Scuderi said the Spartans try to get Smith in space to take advantage of his speed and quickness. The coach said the slender senior made some room for himself in the win over Woodstown.

"He was running over guys, and I've never seen that before," Scuderi said. "He usually runs around guys. He was lowering his shoulder."

Smith and his twin, Naseem, have been standouts for Deptford's powerful track program. Naseem Smith, who is being recruited for track by Syracuse and other colleges, won the Group 3 state title in the 110-meter hurdles as a junior with a time of 14.36 seconds.

"He's track, and I'm football," Khi'on Smith said of his brother. "We both run track, and we both play football. But he has his main sport, and I have mine."

Khi'on Smith, who has committed to Delaware State on a football scholarship, is a three-year starter in his main sport. The Spartans were 4-6 in 2016 and 3-7 last season.

Deptford hasn't posted a winning record since the 2006 team went 8-2. But with a win over Collingswood, the Spartans can improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2005.

"We know Collingswood is a good team, and we want to show we can compete," Smith said. "It's a big stage for us. If we come out and perform like we should, hopefully we can get a little recognition and put Deptford football on the map a little bit."