Wide receiver DeAngelo Smith is making a name for himself with back-to-back solid spring practices. Now, he’s hoping to translate that to fall workouts and game action.
The 6-foot-1, 196 pound redshirt junior – known by coaches and teammates as DeDe – is currently the projected starter at the X receiver position, Alshon Jeffery’s former spot.
Smith has four career catches to his name, but it was the four spring game catches last April that got the attention of fans and coaches. With Jeffery seeing minimal spring game action, Smith caught four passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns.
This spring, Smith and junior Ace Sanders have been among the standouts at receiver.
Hometown: Kingsland, Ga.
Jersey number: 6
2010 stats: 1 catch for 1 yard
2011 stats: 3 catches for 22 yards
Q&A with DeAngelo Smith
How’s your spring going so far?
It’s going pretty good. I’m just out here working, trying to get better.
You’re known for having strong springs. What does that do for you motivation for the fall?
That’s what I'm trying to do. I’m just out here getting better. If I can transfer it from the spring to the fall, I’ll be in good shape.
Is it your goal to be a starter in the fall?
Everybody is fighting to get a starting job. Only coaches know who’s going to get it.
How is the X position more important than the Y or Z receiver spots?
Every position is important as a wide receiver. You've got to make plays and get open
How have you improved since last year?
Right now I’m still learning. I know the playbook. As I go I want to keep learning. I’ve improved a lot. I know the playbook well. I’m learning defensive coverages better.
After the big spring game last year, did you think you’d be in line to make a bigger splash in the season?
I just tried to stay focused. Last year, fall didn’t go as well. This year, in the fall, I’m going to try to make it better than what it was last year.
Receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. on DeAngelo Smith
"The biggest thing with DeDe is that he knows he’s the guy. He was behind Alshon last year and he knew it. I think that kind of tempered his demeanor a little bit. He knows right now if he goes and plays as well this spring that he’s the guy. He’s going to get his chance to go play. He’s going to play a lot this spring."