Senior Season Update: E.L. Smiling

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E.L. Smiling ‘s recruiting card

E.L. Smiling turned in a solid performance last season as a junior, hauling in 24 receptions for 391 yards and five touchdowns on the year. The 6-3, 185-pound Virginia Tech recruit has about 30 receptions in nine games in 2009, but he is also showing well on the defensive side of the ball.

“E.L. has done a nice job for us this year,” Brooke Point head coach Jeff Berry said. His squad is 5-4 on the year. “He has played really well for us in the secondary. We’ve had depth issues as a result of injuries and things and E.L. has had to play both ways more than we would like. He has played so much defense that it has probably taken away from his offense, but we had to do what we needed to do. We run a spread offense that is fast paced, so it wears on him sometimes. We just don’t have many more options.”

Defensively, Smiling primarily played cornerback prior to this season. This year he has seen action at safety, a position he could potentially play at Tech.

“He has become a little more physical, which is key,” Berry said. “He is understanding defense better. He has had some big interceptions and made some big plays for us this year. A lot has been asked of him mentally and physically.”

Wide receiver seems to be the likely initial spot for Smiling, but Coach Berry admits he is not sure where the Tech staff plans to use his latest standout prospect.

“Coach Foster and Coach Beamer and Coach Stinespring, they’re a pretty successful bunch,” Berry said. “They have a good way of finding the right place for players.

“Coach Foster comes in, looks at film, and he doesn’t mince words. Coach Foster has proven that he knows a football player when he sees one. Coach Sherman had to watch film and give the okay, and he did.”

Smiling camped at Tech on July 11th earlier this year, posting 40-yard dash times around a 4.6 flat, and committed soon after. He will join former Brooke Point stars Isaiah Hamlette and JR Collins in Blacksburg.

“Tech was the first one to offer,” Berry said. “E.L. was excited because Tech was a school he had his eye on anyway. He played the waiting game to see if anything else would come around. To be honest with you, not much materialized.