Smith Proving To Be A Big-Time Playmaker

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Thomas Smith was certainly a productive player for Lafayette (Williamsburg, VA) last season, when he hauled in 27 passes for 558 yards in just seven games. The 6’3″, 200-pound senior continues to come through for the Rams in this, his senior season. Through eight games (all wins), Smith, a starter at wide receiver and cornerback, has accounted for at least 10 touchdowns and has come down with at least six picks.

Smith obviously has been productive each of the past two seasons, but he feels he is an improved player in 2011. Participating in the VTO combine this spring was a big benefit to his development, he says. There, he competed with and against some of the top talent in the mid-Atlantic region, including remaining Virginia Tech 2012 class targets Joel Caleb and Stefon Diggs, as well as top 2013 corner Kendall Fuller.

“That camp did a lot to help my game. Watching guys like Stefon Diggs and Kendall Fuller, and seeing how aggressive they are. I wanted to see all of the guys with the great offers and see why they are rated so high. Watching them, I can see why they are there. I’m not going to mimic anybody, but some of the things I saw helped me out,” said Smith, who went against Fuller three times and caught one pass.

Smith has had at least three touchdown receptions of 40-plus yards this season. He has returned a kick-off 85 yards for a score. He has even thrown a touchdown pass. Rams head coach Andy Linn, who runs a Wing-T offense, tries to get the dynamic senior involved in a variety of different ways.

“I’ve had a lot of big punt returns and kick returns,” Smith said. “I get the ball at the wing at running back sometimes, but I run a toss or a jet sweep usually. I do typical receiver stuff too, like fades and out-routes.”

Dynamic with the ball, Smith is most pleased about how he is helping his team when the ball is not in his hands.

“I’ve been trying to improve on what I can do to help when I don’t have the ball,” Smith said. “Basically, I can distract the other team and open up space for one of my teammates to make a big gain. Defensively, I’m playing cornerback, and I’ve had six or seven interceptions.”

As a grey-shirt recruit, Smith won’t enroll at Tech until