Tuesday saw more buzz amongst the NFL scouts for Courtney Smith.
A few updates from twitter said “small school wr Courtney Smith is a monster at 6-4, 220, runs well, limited route runner at this stage”, “Courtney Smith with a great deep ball catch…he’s arrived now, not a sleeper anymore…short, deep wherreever he’s been impressive”, “Courtney showing good focus on making the catch, looking it all the way in, showing athleticism” and “C.Smith is a bigger winner this week if the continues it today, which I think he will…Titus Young had 5 drops day one”.
Optimum Scouting wrote that Lenard Handerson has been their favorite all year long and could be a number two starter right away and going in the first round of the draft is not out of the question. But then they follow up with Courtney being “ultra-impressive” and with a frame that can dominate all day with great focus. He uses his body well to make plays and that he is flying up their boards quickly.
More written praise about Courtney comes from Sideline Scouting: “Great frame and above-average deep speed. During one-on-one drills, Smith ran a go-route and went up and over USC corner Shareece Wright for a beautiful leaping grab. His body control looks well above-average and he looks to be gaining steam here this week.”
NFL Draft Bible said, “The small school prospect has been flashing big-play ability early in practice and he’s surprisingly fast out of his stance for a 220 pounder. Smith had not problems gaining separation from the South corners and also flashed great hands, catching the ball away from his body consistently. Smith is looking like the sleeper wide receiver to watch this year in Mobile.”
Beacher Report says, “Playing in his home stadium (first South Alabama player ever to do so), Smith has sure made the most of it. At 6’4″, 220, he’s been able to win jump ball battles, blow past cornerbacks and has run efficient routes. He had some drops and Coach Chan Gailey was quick to point out, but talked a lot about how he’s a ‘raw talent’ and had great ‘potential’.”
Some not so glowing reviews of Courtney’s day on Tuesday, starting with Draft Insider. “Looks the part but only occasionally plays to it. Made some nice receptions but also dropped an equal amount of catchable throws. Poor route runner.”
Walter Football said “Courtney Smith was dropping passes throughout Tuesday afternoon’s practice.” While NFL Mocks said that “South Alabama Receiver Courtney Smith is struggling to keep up against the higher level of talent. Smith had multiple drops and was staying high coming out of his breaks. Smith did show flashes of brilliance with a few unbelievable catches. If he can adjust to the speed and level of play that he’s not used to facing, Smith can develop into a nice steal later in the draft.”
NFL radio had a nice interview with Courtney that aired around the 7:00pm hour. He spoke about getting the call from Steve Hale from the Senior Bowl to come down to the Hotel and meet with him. They then talked about Steve showing him around and how much fun he has been having being around great players from around the country. After that, they spoke about his size and how he has actually shaped up more by dropping about 10 lbs and that he could probably drop about five more to gain more speed yet keep his impressive frame.
Then they transition towards talking about he and his family relocating after the hurricane and how he couldn’t find his family for a while and the struggles they went through as a family. They spent a little time on how he came to play for coach Bill Clark at Prattville, then UAB and how he ultimately came to South Alabama via his ties to Bill Clark.
Posted shortly after noon, the San Francisco 49ers website had an article about Courtney Smith entitled “Smith takes road less traveled” which covers some of what was said in the NFL Radio interview. Read the article here.
Courtney Smith looks to the sidelines early in the Jaguars game against Lamar University.
South Alabama’s Courtney Smith has proven himself to the Jaguar Nation as a great receiver. He could have stayed at UAB but he believed that USA was the right place for him. He came in and helped the program to back-to-back undefeated seasons, 17-0, with wins over four FCS (AKA Division I-AA) programs. Additionally he has been a great face for the program’s short history, now he continues to represent the program in the Under Armor Senior Bowl.
In the first day of Senior Bowl week, Courtney has already impressed many scouts with his numbers. Online draft coverage by DraftDaddy, TalkNFLDraft, NFAuthority, DraftScout, OptimumScouting, Wes Bunting and Shane P. Hallam have all mentioned that Courtney is “quick and big”, “sleeper”, “real deal”, “built like a tank”, “Massive, completely looks the part” and “looked impressive” when mentioning him.
Additionally, the Sporting News mentions him in the second sentence of their article covering the Senior Bowl weigh-in.
Draft Daddy’s write-up of the South squads practice mentioned that Courtney wasn’t “wide-eyed” and that hey played very well by making several big plays and “impressive run-after-catch ability.” Also according to them, his speed as with all wide receivers and cornerbacks will dictate his draft value. But they also mentioned hs knack for getting open and according to them “looked big-time.” Then they asked the question, “We wonder what [h]is stock would be like were he wearing a helmet from a traditional football factory.” Story here.
We will try to bring you more good stories about Courtney Smith and his Senior Bowl experience. Go Quick6 and Go Jags!
South Alabama started Sun Belt Conference play with a loss at Arkansas State but rebounded with a win against Middle Tennessee State in Mobile to start the new year. However the Jags road swing through the State of Florida didn’t go as well.
Last year, the Jags early season road swing through Florida saw a huge win over the University of Florida which was followed up by wins at FIU and FAU. This season, the Jags didn’t play the Gators and wound up on the losing end of both games agaist FAU and FIU.
South Alabama is a fairly young team. The only seniors are Tim Williams, Gary Redus and Raymond Sims and two juniors consist of Allyn Cooks and Antoine Lundy. But freshman Augustine Rubit has been a major contributor to the team.
South Alabama’s woes has come from outside the 3-point arc. When teams get decent looks at the basket and makes their shots, it’s quite hard to match up shot for shot. But the problems get worse when the Jags get behind and appear to have confidence problems when shooting.
The Jags have improved their free-throw shooting from the beginning of the season. Hopefully coach Ronnie Arrow can get the team back to a more even keel.
South Alabama begins a three game home stand on Saturday, January 15th when Louisiana Monroe visits. Followed by Western Kentucky on Thursday January 20th and finally Florida International on Saturday, January 22nd.
Coach Mitch Rodrigue, who coached the Tackles and Tight Ends on the Offensive Line, has been hired to coach the Offensive Line at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Prior to his two year stint at South Alabama, Coach Rodrigue spent nine years in Hattisburg at Southern Mississippi.
On the field, Coach Rodrigue coached the Tackles and the Tight Ends, helping the Jaguars average 439 yards per game and just under 46 points per game. Off the field, Coach Rodrigue had been named in to the Rivals.com Top 10 list of best Non-BCS recruiters.
Good luck in the future Coach Rodrigue. Well, except when the Jags face off against your Ragin’ Cajun’s.