After a solid freshman season, expectations keep rising for Smith. Although he hasn’t yet played a game at cornerback, he’s on the Thorpe Award watch list. Within the program, there’s hope Smith will spark life into the return game. You dropped one punt in the (Saturday) scrimmage. What happened? I kind of relaxed too much because I was catching all the others. That’s the first one I’ve dropped since the start of camp. I was thinking, ‘Man, why’d it have to be today, when everybody’s watching.’ Do you think Bob Stoops’ confidence in you catching punts and kickoffs is growing? I hope it is. I mean, I think it is. I’ve been here a year, and I’ve been trying to do this every day. So, I think as I catch on, it gets easier. I just have to focus on them. As soon as I relax, that’s when I drop it. What’s going through your head when the ball is kicked and you’re standing there with your arms cradled, waiting to catch it? I’m just thinking, ‘I hope I don’t get killed,’ because sometimes they don’t stop. They just keep running and you have to concentrate on catching the ball and making something happen. You kind of have to trust that they’ll stop. Do you ever think about what’s going on in the Middle East? I’m just glad I’m playing football. I could be doing a lot worse things. We’re losing lives every day. I’m just blessed to be out here. What’s the hardest part of fall practice? Doing it every day. Practice, practice, practice. Keeping your feet and your legs strong is a big deal, because after a few days you get tired and you have to be able to push through it. Who was your childhood hero growing up? Probably Michael Jordan, like a whole bunch of kids. He was great in everything he did, and you knew when it was crunch time, he was going to take over. My dad, too. He taught me how to be versatile out here on the football field. By Blake Jackson
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