A potentially key 2014 contributor for Arizona State has reportedly elected to transfer out of the Sun Devils program.
CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman and other outlets reported Thursday that wide receiver Richard Smith has decided to leave Tempe after two seasons with the Sun Devils, asking for a release from his scholarship. Smith posted the following to his Twitter account late in the week:
Airport going to Boise for this visit.— Richard Smith (@Ricc_3) March 13, 2014
A 5-foot-9 all-purpose athlete from Long Beach, Calif., Smith still has a redshirt season remaining and would hypothetically be eligible in 2015 with two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Despite the Sun Devils' strength at wideout -- Todd Graham's team returns rising junior Jaelen Strong, whose 75 receptions and 1,122 receiving yards led the team with ease -- what looks like Boise's gain will be some measure of loss for Arizona State. As a sophomore Smith hauled in 32 receptions, the fourth-highest total on the team, and a team sixth-best 276 receiving yards. Smith's touchdown against Utah proved the game-winner in a 20-19 victory.
With the likes of Strong, versatile tailback D.J. Foster (63 catches, 653 receiving yards) and four-star JUCO receiver Eric Lauderdale on board, the Sun Devils receiving corps promises to be deep enough to withstand Smith's loss without it making-or-breaking Graham's bid for a repeat Pac-12 South title. At the same time, losing a proven asset like Smith won't help anything, either.