EJ Smith Looks for Fresh Start with Texas A&M Football; Can His Talents Shine with Aggies?
EJ Smith's commitment to Texas A&M football in one sense came just at the right time; in another sense, it was long overdue. Many Aggie fans felt that he was a lock coming out of high school, given that the A&M football staff had made him a priority at a position of need as well as the fact that their main recruiting competition was Stanford.
Of course, Smith committed to the Cardinal, spurning the Aggies. And, as we all now know, the back the Aggies did end up with in that class is a guy now nominated for NFL Rookie of the Year.
This reunion has a chance to be highly beneficial for both parties. Smith, due to injury and misuse, never quite had production that matched his high school rating out in Palo Alto; the hope is that linking up with Texas A&M football will now allow him to live up to that potential. For A&M's part, a back with the skillset that Smith brings to the table is sorely needed in the admittedly impressive stable that they have on campus.
For all the traits that Amari Daniels, Rueben Owens, and Le'Veon Moss bring to the table, the ability to split out wide and catch passes with the aplomb of a guy like Smith is lacking (though, it should be said, it is nascently evident in Owens's game). The change-of-pace, third down back skill set that Smith brings will be welcome in Collin Klein's offensive system; not to mention that there's a great chance everything that projected well when he was in high school still could manifest in the right offense.
This is an intriguing pickup. I think Smith sees the field often, due to the particular niche he can fill in Klein's offense. His physical maturity will make that aspect of things a non-issue; though the S&C at Stanford isn't the same as it is at A&M, there's a lot to be said for the four years that Smith has been in college already. I see him as a potent red zone weapon both through the air and on the ground, and a guy that will be the subject of a lot of presnap motion and shifts, utilizing his skill set to the max.