Add to this that Geno Smith is highly intelligent. The New York Times ran a piece on him in September.
A few highlights for the lazy:
Grouped with other students classified as gifted, Smith was taught an advanced curriculum emphasizing creativity and the arts. He wrote stories and poetry, acted in the school’s production of “The Nutcracker” and competed in chess tournaments. In fifth grade, he won an oratorical contest reciting work by the poet Langston Hughes. But he enjoyed sketching cartoon characters the most.
“If it’s not right, I’m not just going to leave it alone,” Smith said. “I want things to be right and be perfect.” With football, as in his art, the result needed to be “exactly the way you wanted it to come out, or how you’ve seen it in your mind.”
Coach Dana Holgorsen arrived in 2011 with his Air Raid offense, Smith threw for 4,385 yards, fourth most in the country. The Air Raid — predicated on matching a dozen route combinations to get receivers in open space — required a quarterback with a certain mental capacity, Holgorsen said. At Miramar, Smith had designed his own plays. Now, some opponents begged Smith to ease up. On a given snap, Smith read defenses, forecast which receivers would be open, felt pressure, counted time using an internal clock, faked to the options he knew were futile and found an open receiver and led him to an empty pocket of grass.
This kind of intelligence is a requirement to be elite.