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OSU Player to Watch, Day 3: Jeremy Smith

OSU Player to Watch, Day 1: Orie Lemon OSU Player to Watch, Day 1: Orie Lemon

Originally Published: Feb 16, 2010 10:2 PM CDT

Also on Oklahoma Sports:
-OU Player to Watch, Day 3: Sam Proctor
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Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

RB Jeremy Smith

Background:

Coming out of high school, sophomore running back Jeremy Smith was a hot commodity among several Big 12 schools and was considered the fourth-best player in the state of Oklahoma by Rivals.com. During his senior year at Union High School, Smith ran for 1,600 yards, including 243 yards and three touchdowns in the Redskins’ win over the Jenks Trojans. He appeared in one game for Oklahoma State in his true freshman season; a 15-carry, 160 yard, one touchdown performance against Grambling, filling in for an injured Kendall Hunter.

Why He’s on the List:

Don’t get confused; it’s still Kendall Hunter’s team, but even in 2008 when Hunter ran for 1,555 yards, Keith Toston rushed for 686. Smith is a bit smaller than Toston, but has the break-away speed that Toston lacks. Even if his only action this season was against Grambling, averaging 10.7 yards per carry against any team is a big feat.

Best Case Scenario:

When Smith gets touches when Hunter gets a break, he capitalizes on them. In 2008, when Toston was spelling Hunter, he got slightly more than 42 percent of the carries that Hunter got. He also rushed for slightly more than 42 percent of the yardage that Hunter ran for. If Smith can put up similar numbers in the ground game, Hunter will be fresher as the season wears on, and be more available in the passing game.

Worst Case Scenario:

If the numbers that Smith put up against Grambling were a one-game apparition, he may not get as many touches in the 2010 campaign. Dexter Pratt will then start getting more touches, becoming the power to play off Hunter’s speed. If Pratt and Hunter prove to be an effective thunder-and-lightning combination, Smith may have to take a back seat in his second season in Stillwater.

My Take:

Smith is too talented of a running back to not get at least some playing time in the 2010 season. Running backs play a big part in new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen’s take on the spread, and nothing should change when he comes to Stillwater. Although Hunter is a receiving threat as well, Smith should be able to grab as many plays as he can from Hunter and should be able to thrive in the wide-open offense. If Smith doesn’t get the touches in 2010, he should take over the bulk of the running back duties in 2011.
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