Name: Ito Smith
With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I'll be profiling these players and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best at their position in their Senior class.
Today we have the University of Southern Mississippi Running Back Ito Smith. The Mobile, AL native has earned the right to perform in front of his hometown. Smith is one of 10 players in FBS history to top 4,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. He also has a good shot to finish inside the top 15 all-time in yards from scrimmage.
Small in stature, Smith's game is built off exceptional balance and burst. He's a similar back to Green Bay Packers rookie Aaron Jones, who like Smith, handled tremendous workloads over his collegiate career but fell to Day 3 of the draft because NFL teams likely didn't view him as a lead back. Jones, however, shined when given the opportunity this year and already has a few 125+ yards rushing games to his name. Ito Smith has the talent but it will likely take an injury or two before he is ever given that opportunity. Where Smith can contribute right away is as a change of pace back and I think he could really shine in a hurry-up offense where he can slice and dice through soft fronts and be a weapon out of the backfield. Smith has caught 136 passes over his 4 years in an Eagles uniform and they were not of the garden variety screen pass dump off. Smith has shown the ability to catch passes down the field, adjust to inaccurate passes in the flat and cook opposing linebackers on texas routes over the middle. The first play below is a perfect example of that.
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