Monday, October 14, 2013

Corey Smith - Junior College - Ohio State WR

       While I was watching the Akron Ellet - Akron Buchtel football game last Saturday afternoon, I made the chance to talk briefly with former Buchtel wide receiver, Corey Smith, a redshirted wide receiver at Ohio State University. With O-State in a bye weekend, he made the trip to see the game.
        I asked Corey about the junior college program at Eastern Mississippi. Corey had attended Eastern Mississippi Junior College to improve his academics and get ready for a four year college. He told me that at Eastern Miss,  they treated academics like a normal four year college. No slack. In fact, he went on to say academics are tougher there than playing football there.
      Watching and evaluating Corey his junior year was interesting.  Thought whenever the ball was coming his way, he would catch it. Tremendous concentration. Excellent jumping ability as I remember. Was not a burner, like everybody made him out to be. Needed to improve top-end speed, but played fast. Corey was too old to play his senior year, but he enrolled in a junior college program and has made big strides.
       Like many  high school top talented football recruits, Corey had too many people whispering in his ear. Too many "advisors" who also wanted to be in the spotlight. I was concerned about his attitude in high school. Especially academically. As I said earlier, too many people "messin with his head."
      Wearing his red Ohio State jacket, seeing Corey at the game was good. Although I really do not care what color of jacket he wears, just seeing him focused and maturing and attending  college is huge for me. Playing football is even better. My hope is that he returns a few times to Buchtel and shares his experiences.
       As I was leaving, I wished him "the best." For me, talking with Corey for a few minutes was really enjoyable. Anytime I can learn about a junior college program, it is time well spent. Anytime I can talk with a young man like Corey Smith, it is feel good time. No, I do not "giggly" talking to an Ohio State player. Learning about what makes an athlete a better player and person makes me better at what I do.
       Being a "kid's guy," is what it is all about for me. If telling it "like it is," helps the Corey Smith's of the world, than so be it. Not all of the Corey Smith's of the world are tough enough to make it. But for those that do, I applaud them. But even better, when they come back and talk with the young football players in their community, I will hug them.

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