04-29-2007, 12:37 PM
The cousin of Chicago Bears safety Mike Brown, Smith has been a versatile performer for the Cardinals. He was bothered by injury problems earlier in his career, but showed flashes of brilliance during the stretches he was healthy. When Louisville lost starter Michael Bush in the 2006 season opener due to a broken leg, the coaching staff was very confident that Smith could fill that void. He went on to lead the team in rushing, keeping one of college football's most explosive offenses in the Bowl Championship Series picture.
Smith excelled on the football field and in the classroom at Rickards High School. He was a four-time honor roll member and earned a three-star rating while being ranked as the nation's No. 10 all-purpose back by TheInsiders.com.
He earned first team All-Big Bend Area honors and was also named a Big Bend Area Super Six Senior, in addition to being nominated for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award. He garnered running back MVP honors at the 2002 Tuscaloosa Nike Camp and earned team MVP, first-team all-district and honorable mention all-state honors during his junior and senior years. Smith was selected to play in the Cali/Florida All-Star game.
Smith tallied more than 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing as a senior. He played on both sides of the ball as a junior, notching 105 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles while also rushing for 947 yards and 10 touchdowns on 88 carries. Smith started at fullback as a sophomore, blocking for All-America running back Michael Fisher, who ran for more than 2,000 yards and 30 scores. He also logged 533 yards and eight scores on 30 carries as a sophomore. The two-sport star also finished ninth at the state track meet in the 110-meter high hurdles as a junior.
Smith enrolled at Louisville in 2003, appearing in 12 games as a reserve tailback. He rushed 18 times for 131 yards (7.3 avg.) and one touchdown. He also recorded four tackles (two solos) on special teams and caught three passes for 51 yards (17.0 avg.). In 2004, he was limited to only 10 games due to a right hamstring strain. He totaled 347 yards with four touchdowns on 37 attempts, leading the team with a 9.4-yard average. He also snared 11 passes for 117 yards (10.6 avg.) and a score.
As a junior, Smith missed the Memphis and West Virginia games with a right knee sprain. He started three of 10 contests he appeared in, finishing third on the team with 523 yards and six touchdowns on 107 rushes (4.9 avg.). He caught 18 passes for 196 yards (10.9 avg.) and a score while adding three tackles (two solos) on the coverage units.
With Bush injured in the season opener, Smith took over tailback duties in 2006, starting nine of 12 games. The NFL Draft Report's second-team All-Big East Conference pick led the team with a career-high 780 yards on 138 carries (5.7 avg.) with seven touchdowns. He also ranked fourth on the team with 183 yards on 22 catches (8.3 avg.).
In 44 games at Louisville, Smith started 14 times. He carried the ball 300 times for 1,781 yards (5.9 avg.) and 18 touchdowns. He added 547 yards and two scores on 54 receptions (10.1 avg.). Smith also recorded seven tackles (four solos).
Positives: Has an even-proportioned frame with good upper-body muscle tone and room to carry at least another 10 pounds of bulk and shows very good quickness, balance and agility … Has thick legs, a tight waist and loose hips with minimal body fat, showing the low center of gravity to run at a proper pad level when taking plays to the outside … Attacks the outside rush lanes with good urgency and keeps his pad level down and legs churning to finish his runs and gain positive yardage … His low center of gravity and quick feet allow him to drive hard in attempts to turn the corner and reach top acceleration while attacking the second level … Demonstrates that sharp cutting ability to elude when running along the perimeter … Comes out of his stance smoothly and easily, showing the vision to quickly locate the rushing lanes … Possesses the hip snap to re-direct and the pad level to run low to the ground … Demonstrates quick plant agility and the burst to run away from defenders when turning the corner … Despite his speed, Smith is smart and patient enough to let his blocks develop … Has good vision and field awareness, showing good balance and a feel for the cutback lanes, where he excels at picking and sliding to the outside … Can turn the corner fluidly while maintaining balance and likes to bounce wide, knowing he has the speed to run away from the slower defenders … His cutting agility is precise and he can reach the corner with good forward body lean … Has naturally soft hands and good reach to look the ball in as a receiver … Does a good job of securing the ball outside his frame and shows good concentration to track the ball in flight … It is rare to see him use his body to catch a pass and he has dropped the ball only twice during his last two seasons … Has a great burst after the catch and good plant-and-drive agility as a cutback runner.
Negatives: More of a one-cut runner, but he demonstrates adequate lateral agility and slide to re-direct … Keeps his balance turning the corners, but sometimes gets too high in his stance when squeezing through tight quarters … Despite his work in the weight room, he will need to bulk up a bit and improve his adequate overall strength … Earlier in his career, he had a bit of a hitch step in his lateral movement, but he now shows better suddenness and cutting/juke agility to gain advantage … Has adequate weight room strength, but he tends to get a bit high in his stance when driving the ball up the middle … Lacks the leg drive to consistently break tackles and will need to increase his strength if he hopes to get consistent carries at the next level … Can be pushed back through the rush lanes when taking on low blocks, as he does not show the side-stepping agility or lower-body strength to power through tackles in tight areas … Can elude with his burst and explosion, but lacks an array of moves or hip wiggle to be considered slippery with the ball in his hands … Can make the slower defenders miss with his speed, but needs to show more shake-and-bake moves to set up the opponent … For a player of his size and muscular build, you would expect him to be more physical in attempts to break tackles … Runs at a better pad level turning the corner and can run through arm tackles there, but when he has to take the ball up the middle, he lacks the strength to bleed extra yardage (needs to drop his shoulder and hit it up with more power to gain additional yardage upon initial contact) … Used mostly on screens, dump-offs and controlled routes because he lacks precision in and out of his breaks … Must be more conscious of hand placement in attempts to mirror as an in-line blocker and must be more aggressive in his approach to locate and neutralize second-level defenders … Can step up and pick up the blitz, but vs. a strong bull rush he can be pushed back into the pocket.
Compares To: Ladell Betts, Washington -- Like Betts, Smith has made a career at being a complimentary back in a team's rotation … He is capable of filling in for long stretches, but needs to improve his overall strength in order to be more consistent as an inside runner … Despite being built like a power back, he relies more on his speed as a perimeter runner to gain valid yardage rather than using his adequate strength to punch the ball up the middle.
2004: Sat out the South Florida game due to a right hamstring strain.
2005: Suffered a right knee medial collateral ligament sprain vs. North Carolina (Oct. 8), missing the next two games vs. West Virginia and Cincinnati.
Campus: 4.48 in the 40-yard dash (indoor rubber track) … 4.58 in the 40-yard dash (outside grass field) … 335-pound bench press … Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times … 460-pound back squat … 308-pound hang clean … 41-inch vertical jump … 31 1/8-inch arm length … 9-inch hands … Right-handed … Wears contacts.
Combine: 4.50 in the 40-yard dash … Bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times … 38-inch vertical jump … 9-foot-6 broad jump … 7.22 three-cone drill … 4.34 20-yard shuttle.
Attended Rickards (Tallahassee, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Algie Hendrieth … Four-time honor roll member and earned a three-star rating while being ranked as the nation's No. 10 all-purpose back by TheInsiders.com … Earned first-team All-Big Bend Area honors and was also named a Big Bend Area Super Six Senior, in addition to being nominated for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award … Garnered running back MVP honors at the 2002 Tuscaloosa Nike Camp and earned team MVP, first-team all-district and honorable mention all-state honors during his junior and senior years … Selected to play in the Cali/Florida All-Star game … Tallied more than 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing as a senior … Played on both sides of the ball as a junior, notching 105 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles while also rushing for 947 yards and 10 touchdowns on 88 carries … Started at fullback as a sophomore, blocking for All-America running back Michael Fisher, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 30 scores. He also logged 533 yards and eight scores on 30 carries as a sophomore … The two-sport star also finished ninth at the state track meet in the 110-meter high hurdles as a junior.
Sports Administration major … Cousin of Chicago Bears strong safety Mike Brown … Son of Gloria and Thomas Smith … Born Dec. 15, 1984 … Resides in Tallahassee, Fla.
04-29-2007, 12:53 PM
"....Played on both sides of the ball as a junior, notching 105 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles while also rushing for 947 yards and 10 touchdowns on 88 carries "
I know this was HS, but he seems convertible to a DB.
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