August 31, 2009

Smith's adjusting to the college game

Orwin Smith is a true freshman that will look to make an immediate impact at A-back. Smith has looked impressive in the early going, breaking off a couple of long highlight runs during fall scrimmage. He is a tough, downhill runner that does not shy away from contact. His teammates have given him the nickname, "Old School", due to his straight-line running style.

Smith chuckled when acknowledging this and described himself by saying, "I am the type of player that likes to get the ball and just run. I am not really the flashy runner that tries to shake, I just like to run straight and go."

This running style has been very effective thus far, but Smith also realizes that he still has a long ways to go. He spent a lot of time preparing mentally in the offseason by studying the playbook.

"The playbook was kind of difficult to learn, but I studied every night during camp," he said. "I made myself a play card in order to learn the system pretty quick."

The speed of the game has not been a problem for Smith thus far, but getting stronger physically is a long-term goal. The strength aspect of the college game is the thing Smith has struggled with the most because the defenders are a lot tougher to run over or block than the ones he faced at Phenix City in Alabama.

"I came in thinking that it was going to be the speed, but when we scrimmaged the first time I realized that I was up to par with the speed," Smith said. "I would say more of the strength required for taking on the linebackers. I want to be able to protect my other A-back or B-back while they run the ball."

Smith came into camp asking a lot of questions, but he has found the transition to college football to be easier than he anticipated. Smith seeks out Roddy Jones when he needs questions answered about the offense. He praised his Jones by saying, "They gave Roddy the nickname 'The A-back' because he's the smartest when it comes down to the play book. He knows everything so I go to him for most of the help."

Smith comes into the season very confident and looks to maintain his focus so that he is prepared if his name is called during a game. There is a lot of depth at A-back right now, but Smith feels that with the right attitude that he can work is way up the depth chart.

He remarked, "There are a lot of A-backs, but as long as I try to be the best, then I'll be able to handle the top spot."

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