Longtime WR for Texas A&M Football Declares for NFL Draft, Will Help Coach Bowl Game
One of the most beloved Texas A&M football players of the last few years, Ainias Smith, has declared his intention to enter the 2024 NFL draft. In his post, he mentions that—though injured—he will assist in coaching in the bowl game, which is really cool.
Smith has been a force ever since he first stepped on the field in Aggieland, very quickly emerging as the type of YAC machine Texas A&M had been lacking out wide. His ability to make people miss in the open field and break tackles was sorely needed among the Aggie wideouts, and he soon became an integral part of both offense and special teams after taking over as a kick returner.
In the 2019 edition of the Texas Bowl, Smith began to showcase his versatility when Isaiah Spiller went down with a turf toe injury. Smith stepped in as a running back and looked extremely natural at the position—so much so that he practically split time between wideout and lining up in the backfield in 2020. Injuries to the receiving corps in ensuing years forced him to remain as a pass-catcher for most of the time.
Ainias had a memorable 2021, catching the game-tying touchdown against Alabama ahead of the final drive to kick a walk-off field goal in the waning moments of the game. He notched his first-ever punt return touchdown in the next home game against South Carolina. In 2022, however, his season was tragically cut short after an injury against Arkansas. He bounced back in a big way this year, though, notching an eye-popping 100.3 total yards per game across rushing, receiving, and return totals.
I’m no draft guru, but I anticipate Ainias being a late-round gem of a find for some team. His measurables were what kept him from being ranked higher coming out of high school, and even though he has more than proved himself in college, it seems like those same measurables may keep him from being a higher-round selection. Nevertheless, I have no doubt whoever chooses him will have a high-impact guy on their roster for the future. Best of luck, Ainias—thank you for always representing Texas A&M football the right way and being a great ambassador for the university!