Tag:Keith Smith
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:03 pm
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CBSSports.com Preseason All-WAC Team

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As part of the CBSSports.com season preview, here are my choices for the Preseason All-Big 12 team.

Offense


QUARTERBACK

Bryant Moniz, Senior, Hawaii

Moniz is the latest in a long line of quarterbacks to rack up insane yardage totals out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In 2010 he threw for 5,040 yards and led the country with 39 touchdown passes. He also led the nation in total offense, and "Mighty Mo" will look to do the same things in 2011 as he makes a Heisman push.

Also watch for: While Moniz gets the most attention in the WAC, don't forget about Fresno State's Derek Carr -- you may remember his older brother David -- and Idaho's Brian Reader. Those two could put up some nice numbers as well.

RUNNING BACK

Robbie Rouse, Junior, Fresno State

Rouse showed a lot promise in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs, rushing for over 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he'll be looking to continue to impress in 2011. If he can, it will be a big boost to Fresno State's chances of winning the WAC.

Robert Turbin, Junior, Utah State

After missing all of the 2010 season with an injury, the only person who wants to see Robert Turbin on the football field more than Aggie fans is Turbin himself. As a sophomore Turbin started 11 games and rushed for 108 yards per game to become Utah State's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2001. Along with being a threat carrying the ball, Turbin is also dangerous catching balls out of the backfield and contributing in the passing game.

Also watch for: There are a number of good running backs in the WAC, but there are two that come immediately to mind. Nevada's Mike Ball will get plenty of carries with the Wolfpack now that Vai Taua is no longer around. Then there's Louisiana Tech's Lennon Creer.

WIDE RECEIVER

Rishard Matthews, Senior, Nevada

I do not envy the position that Nevada quarterback Tyler Lantrip is in trying to replace Colin Kaepernick at Nevada, but he could certainly do a lot worse than having Rishard Matthews around to throw the ball to. Matthews led Nevada with 55 receptions and 873 yards last season, and will be Lantrip's go-to option in the passing game.

Royce Pollard, Senior, Hawaii

With both Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares no longer playing wide receiver for Hawaii, somebody is going to have to step up and catch all those passes, and Pollard is the best bet. As Hawaii's third receiving option in 2010 Pollard finished the year with 64 catches, 901 yards and 7 touchdowns. Imagine the numbers he'll put up as a number one!

Also watch for: Louisiana Tech has a talented duo in Taulib Ikharo and Ahmad Paige. Of course, when it comes to receivers, just about everybody on Hawaii's depth chart is a candidate to excel this season.

TIGHT END:

Ryan Otten, Junior, San Jose State

Otten missed a lot of time for San Jose State thanks to injuries in 2010, but he came on strong at the end of the season. His three touchdown receptions came in the final two games of the season, and he still finished third on the team in touchdown catches even though he missed half the year. He'll be looking to build on the momentum he picked up after getting healthy in 2011.

Also watch for: Idaho sophomore Taylor Elmo and Utah State's Kellen Bartlett are two other tight ends capable of putting up some nice numbers this season.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Center Jeff Meads, Senior, Nevada

Meads earned the starting job at center last season, starting all 13 games, and played a key role on an offensive line that helped the Wolfpack finish third in the nation in rushing offense.

Guard Chris Barker, Junior, Nevada

Since redshirting in 2008, there hasn't been a single game that the Wolfpack guard hasn't been in the starting lineup. He's another big reason that Nevada ran the ball on everyone it came across last season.

Guard Kevin Saia, Junior, Louisiana Tech

Saia earned the starting job at left guard at the end of 2009 and held onto it during the 2010 year, helping open plenty of holes for running back Lennon Creer.

Tackle Austin Hansen, Senior, Hawaii

When you have an offense that drops back to pass as often as Hawaii's does, you're going to need a left tackle you can count on to keep your quarterback on his feet. Hansen has been just that for the Warriors, starting 22 games the last two seasons.

Tackle Tyrone Novikoff, Senior, Idaho

Novikoff has seen time on the Idaho offensive line since his freshman season, and has started 25 games the last two years at left tackle. There's a reason for it too, as the 6-foot-7 tackle is not the easiest man to get by.

Also watch for: Utah State boasts a nice pair on its line in Funaki Asisi and Philip Gapelu. There's also Stephen Warner at Louisiana Tech. New Mexico State's Sioeli Fakalata and Hawaii's Chauncey Winchester-Makainai deserve your attention for their names alone, but both are talented as well.

Defense


DEFENSIVE LINE

DE Matt Broha, Senior, Louisiana Tech

Broha is one of the most prolific pass rushers in Louisiana Tech history. His 9 sacks in 2010 moved him into third all-time on the schools sack leaders, and he'll be looking to climb to the top in 2011.

DE Travis Johnson, Junior, San Jose State

Johnson has started 17 games in his career as a Spartan, and he's only entering his third season with the team. In 2010 he led all SJSU defensive lineman with 62 tackles and led the team in sacks with 7.5. He also had 9.5 tackles for a loss.

DT Logan Harrell, Senior, Fresno State

Logan Harrell was a monster for the Bulldogs on the interior of the defensive line. Though defensive tackles aren't generally known to be pass rush specialists, that still didn't stop Harrell from leading the WAC with 10.5 sacks and racking up another 14 tackles for loss.

DT Brett Roy, Senior, Nevada

Nevada's Brett Roy also proved to be problematic for offensive lines in 2010, tallying 8 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss with the Wolfpack.

Also watch for: Hawaii's Kaniela Tuipulotu and Idaho's Michael Cosgrove were also terrors on the inside and should continue to improve this season. Also on Hawaii's defensive line is Vaughn Meatoga -- mmmmm, meat toga -- and Donte Savage lives up to his last name for New Mexico State.

LINEBACKERS

Bobby Wagner, Senior, Utah State

Wagner has already been named First Team All-WAC in his career at Utah State so why not go for a third? While he has other talented players around him, at times you get the sense that Wagner is the Utah State defense, as there is rarely a play run that he isn't a part of.

Corey Paredes, Senior, Hawaii

Corey Paredes is to tackles what Hawaii wide receivers are to receptions. He makes all of them. Paredes finished with 151 tackles last season, which was the second-highest total in school history. Paredes also showed that he could possibly play some wide receiver for Hawaii if he had to, picking off 4 passes during the year.

Adrien Cole, Senior, Louisiana Tech

Cole started only 6 games for the Bulldogs in 2010, but he made the most of the opportunity given to him. He finished the year as a second-team All-WAC selection, and I feel that if he shows the effort and skill that he did while making 80 tackles in limited time last year, he'll be making the leap to the first team this season.

Also watch for: The WAC is home to quite a few linebackers worthy of your attention. Keith Smith (San Jose State), Jay Dudley (Louisiana Tech) Aaron Brown (Hawaii), Kyle Gallagher (Utah State), James-Michael Johnson (Nevada), and Robert Siavil (Idaho) are just a few.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

CB Isaiah Frey, Senior, Nevada

Frey's 2010 season was good enough to have him named second team All-WAC, and he's looking to move up this year. He may be the most consistent corner in the entire conference, and finished 2010 with 14 passes broken up. He's also not afraid to stick his nose into the fray and make a tackle on a running back coming around the corner.

S Walter McClenton, Senior, Utah State

McClenton made ten starts at safety for the Aggies last seson and finished the year third on the team in tackles with 62. He also broke up 2 passes and had a sack. He's somebody I'd consider more of a run-stuffer than a coverage safety, but if he can improve on his pass defense in 2011 his stock will soar.

S Duke Ihenacho, Senior, San Jose State

Since San Jose State joined the WAC in 1996 its never had a player named first team All-WAC. This season Ihenacho will look to be the first. Unfortunately he didn't have the chance last season after missing the last ten games of the season with an injury, but he's back and healthy this year and will be a force once again.

S Phillip Thomas, Junior, Fresno State

Thomas is a safety that is loaded with potential and he flashed signs of it last season, finishing the year with 64 tackles, 9 passes broken up, 2 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions. Now, as a junior, he'll be looking to fulfill that potential even more, and I fully expect him to.

Also watch for: Given the amount of passing offenses in the WAC, safeties play an important role in slowing down offenses, and the WAC has a few who are more than capable. Players like Louisiana Tech's Chad Boyd, New Mexico State's Donyae Coleman, Richard Torres at Hawaii and Nevada's Duke Williams play key roles for their teams.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Kevin Goessling, Senior, Fresno State

P Bobby Cowan, Junior, Idaho

KR Kerwynn Williams, Junior, Utah State

PR Rishard Matthews, Senior, Nevada
Posted on: February 28, 2011 5:39 pm
 

NCAA denies sixth year for Purdue WR Keith Smith

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Purdue Boilermakers' hopes for 2011 took something of a hit today as the NCAA ruled that wide receiver Keith Smith, who led the Big Ten in receptions and receiving yards in 2009, would not be allowed a sixth year of eligibility. Smith had played in just two games in 2010 before tearing an ACL and MCL, but the NCAA evidently didn't find that to be a sufficient amount of time lost to injury to allow him a medical redshirt.

The good news for Smith is that he was allowed to attend the NFL combine for 48 hours while he awaited word from the NCAA about his eligibility, so his professional career is already underway, in a sense. He didn't do any physical drills or anything -- his knee injury is only five months old, after all -- but he was measured and participated in interviews, so the trip wasn't a waste.

Still, this is bad news for Purdue, and Danny Hope didn't try very hard to contain his displeasure. "The entire Purdue football family is very disappointed for Keith," Hope said in a statement released by the school today. "We're not only losing one of the top wide receivers in the Big Ten, but one of the top leaders on our team."

At the very least, Smith should project well to the next level; he's big enough to out-muscle most defensive backs, and his route-running and hands make him a potential asset, especially on third downs. So if there's an NFL season this year*, he'll at least be getting paid handsomely to play football instead of sticking around in college for one more year. Yes, the injury will take a toll on Smith's draftability and subsequent rookie contract (there's a reason he was trying to come back for the sixth year, after all), but being forced to go to the NFL is not exactly the worst thing that can happen to a football player.


*There will not be.

Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Purdue

Posted by Adam Jacobi

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Purdue, who opens its practice on March 1.

Spring Practice Question: Is Rob Henry or Robert Marve the man for Purdue? 

As far as injuries go, nobody was hit with more rotten luck than the Purdue Boilermakers last year; four key offensive starters suffered torn ACLs, gutting the team's skill position depth and leading to the Boilermakers' worst scoring output in 15 years. That Purdue ended up going just 4-8 is, well, understandable.

Fortunately, at least three of the four injured Boilermakers -- QB Robert Marve, RB Ralph Bolden, and WR Justin Siller -- are back, while WR Keith Smith still awaits word from the NCAA as to whether he'll receive a sixth year of eligibility (an announcement was expected this week). 

There's also two other returning starting quarterbacks, though: freshmen Rob Henry and Sean Robinson. Both Henry and Robinson are coming into the spring healthy, and while both QBs saw significant time under center, it's clear that Henry was the better performer last year. Robinson's quarterback rating was an anemic 70.21, and he managed just 3.3 yards per pass attempt.

Henry, on the other hand, comes into the spring session as the putative starter as Marve recovers, and the amount of repetitions Henry should get with the first team could be invaluable as Danny Hope evaluates his signal-callers. That's not to say Marve is going to sit in his room all spring long with his PS3 on or anything like that; he's going to be rehabbing that surgically repaired knee, attending practices, and watching film just like the rest of the quarterbacks, with the intention of returning to the starting lineup in August.

But what if Marve doesn't? What if Henry's entire off-season with the first-teamers provides a level of familiarity and comfort that Marve can't recreate in practice? There's obviously talent there with Henry, but it was also obvious that he wasn't ready to be on the field quite yet. And hey, that's fine; most freshmen aren't. But for all the struggling Henry did to get acclimated to the Purdue offense game-by-game, he still finished with a passer rating that was less than a point off Marve's in 2010. 

Above all else, most college football players make their biggest strides between their first and second years on the field, and to that end, Rob Henry's going to get an opportunity to improve substantially before the first game of the 2011 season. Can Marve make up that difference through and after rehab? That's something worth watching in West Lafayette.

Posted on: September 13, 2010 12:57 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 12:40 pm
 

Hope is pessimistic about Keith Smith

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last season was a breakout year for Purdue wide receiver Keith Smith .  Smith finished his junior season with 91 receptions for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns and was placed on the 2010 Biletnikoff Award watch list for the top receiver in the country this year.  Though the way things are sounding in West Lafayette, there may not be many more chances to watch Smith play in 2010.

The senior receiver left Purdue's 31-21 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday during the fourth quarter after taking a hit to his right knee while being tackled.  He'd later appear on the sidelines with crutches in tow.  As for the severity of the knee injury, nobody will know for sure until Smith undergoes an MRI in the next couple of days, but his head coach Danny Hope isn't, well, he isn't very hopeful .

“We'll have to move on and get other guys ready to play,” Hope said. “That's why we recruit. It's why we work 80 to 100 hours a week and why we go at it all the time working hard to bring in the next good player to develop to get ready to play.”

It's known for a fact that Smith won't be playing this weekend against Ball State, as he isn't listed on Purdue's depth chart .

If Smith is lost for an extended period of time -- and there's some belief that his season may be over -- it's a big blow to a Purdue offense that had already lost their top running back, Ralph Bolden , to a torn ACL.  Smith had been proving to be Robert Marve 's favorite target through the first two games of the season, making 18 catches for 123 yards.

UPDATE: Hope's pessimism was confirmed on Tuesday when the school announced that Smith had torn both his ACL and MCL and will miss the rest of the 2010 season.
Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com