'Every coach's dream': Fulshear grad becomes youngest player to sign in Major League Rugby history

ByJoe Gleason KTRK logo
Monday, June 19, 2023
Fulshear grad youngest player to sign in Major League Rugby history
EMBED <>More Videos

Recent Fulshear grad Seth Smith became the youngest player to sign in Major League Rugby history after his first contract with the Houston SaberCats.

FULSHEAR, Texas (KTRK) -- Seth Smith graduated from Fulshear High School on May 18. Less than three weeks later, he made history.

"It's so rewarding to me that everything is starting to pay off, and I'm super grateful," Smith said.

At the age of 17, when most of his friends had signed letters of intent to play sports in college, Smith signed his first professional contract with the Houston SaberCats, becoming the youngest player to agree to terms in Major League Rugby history.

"The closest person to my age is like 21-22," he said. "I would say my mentality is to get after it. That's really what it is. You have to play with a certain aggression, and I believe I can do that."

This type of accomplishment couldn't be possible without hard work.

"Seth is the epitome of Fulshear High School football player," Fulshear head football coach Nick Codutti said. "It's hard work, dedication. He's every coach's dream."

Smith was an All-State fullback, and if you've seen any Fulshear football games, he certainly stands out.

"Football helped me out so much. All the contact areas and really understanding when I have the ball, I knew I had to drop my shoulder, and the same thing in rugby," Smith said.

"He's the one guy when college coaches roll in the door, they say, 'I want to see highlights of your fullback.' Everyone wants to see the Viking," Codutti added.

SEE ALSO: With only 3 girls rugby teams at NYC high schools, organization tries to level the playing field

During his time at Fulshear, he served as an example to his teammates and coaches, and it all started in the weight room.

"This (weight room) is my safe place. I was here three times a week every morning, sometimes more," Smith said.

"When I first started the job here, I would work the mornings. Seth was waiting at the door for me at 5:30, 6 o'clock in the morning. Waiting at the door for me," Codutti said.

Now he'll take all he's learned from Fulshear into this new chapter with the SaberCats.

"I just want to keep getting better and show what I'm about when I set foot on the field," Smith said.

He was keeping his dream of playing for the USA rugby national team, a plan that started when he was introduced to the sport by his father at the age of 11.

"Sky is the limit for Seth. He is the epitome of the American dream. He sets his mind to something, he's going to do it," Codutti said.