Jason Smith ready to make the catch at Auburn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Jason Smith and Jeremy Johnson knew each other. Both were hotshot high school quarterbacks. Both signed with Auburn. Both played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
That's where their future as a pitch-and-catch combination really began.
Smith played wide receiver in that game, was named MVP, and now, after a trip to junior college, he's ready to play receiver at Auburn as well. Fast and with a quarterback's knowledge of offenses, Smith says he's prepared to contribute. And after a week-and-a-half into Auburn's fall camp, Smith says he's found like-minded teammates.
"I'm just glad I’m around people that like to work hard and come to work every day. That’s what helps me achieve my goals," he says.
Johnson says Smith is "doing great."
"He’s one of the guys that we can count on as a team to make a lot of plays. He’s tremendous when he gets the ball in his hands. He makes a lot of big plays down the field. We feel really good about him and he made that transition for the best of him and for this team."
From the beginning, from that all-star game, Smith said he and Johnson "had good chemistry. I see us here and I was like, 'I don't mind playing receiver for that guy because he could throw it, he could spin it. He'll get it to you. I think everything is going to work out."
Smith didn't forget how to play quarterback since leaving McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile. He passed for 1,566 yards and 18 touchdowns, and scored 10 more TDs via the run, last season at Mississippi Gulf Coast College.
That's for the history book. Smith is a receiver now, and this is the scouting report on him from fellow receiver Marcus Davis:
"That guy is a very elusive guy. I see big things from him," Davis said.
Smith doesn't have a set position. Auburn is playing most of its receivers at different receiving spots.
"We can get thrown in at any time of the game and know the plays and go at that position," he said.
Smith has found he's running more than ever.
"This is a long camp, and this is my first camp so everybody is fatigued and tired. We just have to fight through it.”
Smith said working with Johnson over the summer helped, and that Davis, Ricardo Louis and the other receivers familiar with the way of Auburn have helped.
Now, "the coaches put me in a great position. I’m just going to listen to what coach has got to say. He’s been doing it for all these years and he’s been successful, so I’m going to listen to him and do what I have to do."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine