Not all NFL players have glorious jobs, and several NFL prospects know how to make their mark…
The book on: CB Jimmy Smith
University of Colorado at Boulder Buffaloes
Colton High School
One of the lone bright spots on an otherwise suspect Colorado defense, Smith earned All-Big Twelve Conference first-team honors as a senior and was the recipient of the Dave Jones Award as the Buffaloes' most outstanding defensive player. Colorado concluded the 2010 season as the nation's 110th-ranked passing defense, allowing 259.75 aerial yards per game. But the team's numbers don't tell the story of Smith's play, as he held opposing receivers to an average of 8.38 yards per pass attempt, with 52 throws being targeted into his area.
Smith prepped at Colton High School, where he played football alongside highly regarded recruits in teammates Allen Bradford and Shareece Wright, both who went on to star at Southern California. Not to be overshadowed, the senior wide receiver and cornerback earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors on both offense and defense.
Smith began his varsity career as a safety, garnering an All-League honorable mention at that position as a sophomore while helping his Yellowjackets squad to an 11-1 overall record that included an appearance in the second round of the playoffs. He delivered 45 tackles and four interceptions.
Smith moved to cornerback as a junior and enjoyed a fine campaign that saw him earn a first-team All-League selection and second-team All-County honors. Colton made the second round of the playoffs for the second-straight year while posting a 10-2 overall record. Smith contributed 57 tackles, an interception, eight pass deflections, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on defense, and added 30 receptions for 600 yards (20.0 ypc) and four touchdowns on offense.
In his final high school season, Smith was named Colton High's most improved player after totaling 47 tackles, two interceptions, 15 pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He also caught 53 passes for 1,123 yards (21.19 ypc) and 14 touchdowns and added 36 yards and another score as a punt returner. His squad again reached the second round of the playoffs and turned in a 9-3 overall record.
Smith was rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com. Rivals listed him as the 57th-best athlete prospect in the country and the 64th-best recruit from the state of California, while Scout ranked him as the 53rd-best safety in the nation. The standout defensive back was offered scholarships from several universities, including Colorado, Boise State, Colorado State, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, UNLV and Washington State.
Smith enrolled at the University of Colorado in 2006 and retaining eligibility by redshirting as a true freshman. He had a few brushes with the law upon his arrival on campus, though.
Two minor-in-possession charges and a positive drug test while at CU, which the National Football League recently learned about, were front and center topics during the interviews conducted by the league at the recently concluded 2011 Combines.
He was caught with an opened beer container just after he turned 18. In his junior season, police raided a Boulder bar and carded everyone. Smith hadn't turned 21 yet. His positive drug test came in 2007.
That spring, he was the recipient of the Buffaloes' Hale Irwin Award as the most improved defensive back. Smith went on to play in all 13 games on special teams and saw action at cornerback in six contests in 2007. He delivered six tackles (four solos) and two pass deflections. He also returned an interception 31 yards for a touch-down in the season finale vs. Nebraska.
As a sophomore in 2008, Smith missed the first two games of the season with a nagging back injury, but returned to play in the last ten contests. He was inserted into the starting lineup for the final three games of the season and contributed another big play in the season finale vs. Nebraska, as he recovered a fumble and returned it 58 yards to the end zone for a score. The cornerback concluded the season with 38 tackles (28 solos), four pass deflections, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Smith earned a spot as a fulltime starter at right cornerback as a junior and enjoyed a breakout campaign, earning All-Big Twelve Conference second-team honors by the Associated Press and an honorable mention nod by the league's coaches. He started all twelve games and finished sixth on the team with 52 tackles (40 solos), one stop for a loss of two yards and a six-yard fumble recovery. He also returned two interceptions for 10 yards and deflected seven other pass attempts.
Smith considered leaving early for the 2010 NFL Draft at the conclusion of his junior season, but elected to return for his final campaign. He entered the year as a member of the Watch List for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate defensive back. The cornerback did not disappoint, earning first-team all-conference honors on his way to being named Colorado's most outstanding defensive player.
Smith started all 12 games at right cornerback despite suffering a midseason concussion and finished third on the team with 68 tackles (57 solos), including 2.5 stops for losses totaling four yards. He also deflected five pass attempts and returned a fumble 22 yards.
Smith played in 47 games at Colorado, starting his last 27 contests as right cornerback…Recorded 163 tackles (129 solos) with 3.5 stops for losses totaling six yards…Returned three interceptions for 41 yards (13.67 avg) and one touchdown while deflecting 18 other pass attempts…Returned three fumble recoveries for 86 yards (28.67 avg) and one score, as he also caused one fumble…Smith is tied for 22nd in Colorado annals with 18 pass deflections…His 163 tackles rank 77th in school history.
All-Big Twelve Conference first-team selection by the league's coaches…All-Colorado first-team choice by the state's chapter of the National Football Foundation…Member of the Jim Thorpe Award (top collegiate defensive back) Watch List…Recipient of the Dave Jones Award as Colorado's most outstanding defensive player…Earned team Defensive Player of the Week honors vs. Hawaii and Georgia…Started all 12 games at right cornerback and ranked third on the team with 68 tackles (57 solos), including 2.5 stops for losses totaling four yards…Deflected five passes, including one on third down…Returned one fumble recovery 22 yards…Made 31 tackles after receptions, holding his opponents to 436 yards, 17 first downs and four touchdowns on 36 receptions (69.23 pass completion percentage), allowing 12.11 yards per catch, 8.38 yards per pass attempt, while delivering six third-down stops, one more on a fourth-down play and produced eight tackles inside the red zone, including three on goal-line snaps…Made 34 plays vs. the ground game, limiting runners to 342 yards (10.06 ypc) and 14 first downs, as he made four third-down stops and took down three ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain…Added three tackles on the kickoff coverage unit.
All-Big Twelve Conference second-team selection by the Associated Press and honorable mention choice by the league's coaches…All-Colorado second-team honors by the state's chapter of the National Football Foundation…Started all 12 games at right cornerback and ranked sixth on the team with 52 tackles (40 solos), including one stop for a loss of two yards…Returned two interceptions for 10 yards (5.0 avg) and deflected seven other pass attempts…Returned one fumble recovery six yards.
Played in 10 games and started the final three at right cornerback…Placed 11th on the team with 38 tackles (28 solos)…Return a fumble recovery 58 yards for a touchdown and caused another…Also deflected four pass attempts.
Recipient of Colorado's Hale Irwin Award as the most improved defensive back following spring practice…Played in all 13 games on specials team while appearing in six contests as a cornerback and recorded six tackles (four solos)…Returned one interception 31 yards for a touchdown and deflected two other passes.
Red-shirted as a freshman.
2008 Season…Missed the first two games of the season vs. Colorado State (8/31) and Eastern Washington (9/06) with recurring back problems…Returned in week three vs. West Virginia (9/18). 2010 Season…Suffered a concussion in the third quarter vs. Baylor (10/16) and did not return…Played the following week vs. (10/23).
4.47 in the 40-yard dash…1.59 10-yard dash…2.63 20-yard dash…4.06 20-yard shuttle…6.93 three-cone drill…36-inch vertical jump…10'3" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times…32¼-inch arm length…9¾-inch hands…77 5/8-inch wingspan.
Attended Colton High School (Cal.), playing football for head coach Harold Strauss…All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection as a wide receiver and cornerback…All-County first-team choice…Named his team's most improved player after totaling 47 tackles, two interceptions, 15 pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as a senior…Added 53 receptions for 1,123 yards (21.19 ypc) and 14 touchdowns while helping his Yellowjackets squad to a 9-3 overall record and an appearance in the second round of the playoffs…Also had 36 yards and another score as a punt returner…All-League first-team selection and All-County second-team honoree as a junior…Moved to cornerback as a junior and notched 57 tackles, an interception, eight pass deflections, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery…Added 30 catches for 600 yards (20.0 ypc) and four touchdowns as Colton posted a 10-2 overall record with an appearance in the second round of the playoffs…All-League honorable mention choice while starting at safety as a sophomore…Contributed 45 tackles and four interceptions for an 11-1 Colton team that made the second round of the playoffs…Given a three-star rating by Rivals.com, who listed him as the 57th-best athlete prospect in the nation and the 64th-best recruit from the state of California…Also rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, as that recruiting ranked him as the 53rd-best safety in the country…Chose to attend Colorado over scholarship offers from Boise State, Colorado State, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, UNLV and Washington State…Also earned seven other letters in basketball and track combined.
Sociology major…Graduated with a bachelor's degree in December 2010…Comes from a football family, as four of his brothers have played college football – Ryan Smalls (Millikin), Terrance Smalls (Illinois and later Tulsa), Paul Smith (New Mexico) and Anthony Smalls (Idaho State)…Born 7/26/88 in Fontana, California…Resides in Colton, California.
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