A few days ago, Matthew went over which freshman might play this year for the Huskies (you can find it here). He gave a little info on each of the freshman but I thought we’d take a closer look at some of the ones who will most likely play. Over the next few weeks, I (and maybe the other good guys) will be doing a series called “Who Are These Guys?”
Today, we’ll start with a guy who’s really turning heads this first week of camp, Kevin Smith. Kevin is from Compton, California. Smith has been compared to Terrell Owens several times. Unfortunately, he probably won’t have quite as cool touchdown celebrations. This guy is a very good athlete who also played basketball in high school. Smith was rated a 4-star recruit by Scout coming out of high school. He just started playing football in the last couple years and if he had played earlier he might have been rated even higher by recruiting services.
Smith is listed at 6-0, 197. For some reason I thought he was a little bit bigger. Maybe this is because all the reports I’ve heard on him say that he plays big. Jake recently said that every time the ball is thrown to him, Smith thinks he’s going to come down with it. He usually does. That is what makes Jermaine Kearse so good. Being a receiver who can go up and catch the jump ball is important in our pro-style offense.
So, where does this guy fit in? The Huskies are set in their top 3 receivers, Kearse, Aguilar, and Johnson, but the fourth spot is up for grabs at the moment. Goodwin is good when he’s healthy, but he hasn’t been healthy in a year and a half. Jordan Polk has the speed and the play-making capability but I don’t know if he can be counted on as a consistent, every-down receiver. Cody Bruns is supposed to be fast and have excellent route-running abilities but he’s never seen the field except for trick plays. He’s also been bogged down by injuries. These were the problems that let James Johnson see the field last year and show what he was capable of. I’m betting the same thing happens with Smith. Of course, I want Goodwin to be healthy because he’s shown what he can do and if he’s healthy the Huskies have the best receivers in the Pac-10 but I think Smith might be just as good of an option as the other two.
It’s hard to judge how Smith will do. As we saw last year with Johnson, a full college football season can be a little tough for a true freshman. To see how much muscle and weight Johnson has put on this off-season makes me wonder if Smith will be a little underweight. But, is the Johnson-Smith comparison a fair one? That question can’t be answered yet. Johnson wasn’t as heralded of a recruit as Kevin was so maybe we should expect more. It’s safe to assume that Smith will play. I would bet that he’ll be the 5th option at receiver and could move up.
I’m thinking Kevin Smith will continue the ‘exciting freshman receiver’ role that Johnson had last year. I’m also thinking that Kasen Williams will fit that role nicely next year (cross your fingers).