Thursday, September 27, 2012

Drew Smith making chances count for UAlbany

ALBANYDrew Smith wants to make the most of every opportunity he gets to carry the football.

The senior running back is averaging nearly 100 yards per game so far this season for the University at Albany.

Smith will be one of the keys, as UAlbany (1-0, 3-1) gets set to host league rival Monmouth (2-0, 3-1), at home, on Saturday afternoon.

“It’ll be a tough ballgame,” said Great Danes coach Bob Ford. “We’ll have to play well.”

Smith, who has 392 yards and five touchdowns already this season, has been the Great Danes leading back for the past two years. He credits maturity with helping him turn things up even another level, as a senior.

“I think it’s me being more mature and knowing what to do, when to go and not being reckless,” said the Guilderland High grad. “I know my sophomore year, I was running high and got dinged up.”

Smith and his fellow seniors haven’t lost to Monmouth in their careers. The last time the Hawks won in this Northeast Conference matchup was back in 2006.

Smith says he spends more time in the tub and talking to trainer Jay Geiger, if even the slightest things flares up.

“I know my body now,” Smith said. “I know what to expect of it. I have Omar too, to help me out.”

Sophomore Omar Osbourne and Smith have helped UAlbany excel in the running game this season. The Great Danes are averaging more than 200 yards rushing per game and haven’t been held to fewer than 110.

Smith will likely become just the third running back in school history to surpass the 3,000-yard mark for his career, joining David McCarty (2006-09) and Gary Jones (2002-03), both also Section II high school products.

Smith has dealt with injuries in past seasons, but he says he’s running lower now, which helps him avoid some of the more violent contact.

For his career, Smith has averaged 5.3 yards per carry (484 total rushes) and scored 27 rushing touchdowns.

All this for a guy who played quarterback in high school and initially was slotted behind Vinny Esposito in the QB depth chart for the Great Danes.

The goal for the UAlbany running backs is to pick up four yards per carry. Smith just wants to do as much as he can to help the team to victory.

“I want to make the most of every carry,” he said.

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