#12 Trey Smith
Class: RS Sophomore
Position: Running back
Hometown: Madison, MS
Thoughts: Trey is certainly one of the over-shadowed backs this season as he's only received a brief mention here and there during the spring and fall camps by the media, and even during the countdown I haven't brought his name up very often, either. As a reminder, Trey was a do-all guy for his high school team playing some quarterback, some wideout, and running back. Over the last two years Trey carried on that tradition of being a "I'll play where you need me, coach" guy as he's made four position changes since arriving. If Petrino's comments are any indication I think Trey has a home at running back/fullback. He's gone out of his way on a few occasions to bring up how well Trey has performed this year, understanding that the casual fan is focusing on Reggie, Jeremy Smith, and even Colin Wilson more so than Trey early on.
As fall camp continues to roll on Petrino and Kolby Smith seem to be leaning towards playing Smith more at fullback to try and get him on the field more often. Even if he splits time with Tobias Little it will likely be a better opportunity for him to make plays than sitting at #3 on the depth chart as a running back. In nothing else, you can 100% bank on Trey being a special teams player as he appeared in all 13 games last year in that role and he'll do the same again this season. Trey is one of those guys who coaches want to get on the field all the time and that’s always a great sign as a player as they can see what you bring to the team, and want to use that to their advantage. Last year I called Trey a "Reggie in training" so to speak, with no clue that Reggie would actually slide in his same position this year. 365 days later I still like that title as I think Junior and Senior Trey Smith could be a nice piece to helping the team win a lot of football games, in whatever task he is assigned.
Jacksonville going to be something serious this year— Trey Smith (@Trey12smith) August 11, 2017
With all due respect to your pops and the organization...Jacksonville is in fact NOT going to be something serious this year. They're terrible man. Terrible.
#12 Rodney Owens
Hometown: Goodlettsville, TN
Thoughts: Add Rodney's name to the long list of players Coach Petrino has gone after that played both sides of the ball in high school. Listed, and ranked, as a Top 10 Safety in the state of Tennessee Rodney also got plenty of reps as a wideout at Ensworth (south of Nashville) the last few years. The obvious assumption as to why Petrino loves these guys is because he could potentially steal them to play on the offensive side of the ball if he wanted, but the reason he mentioned back in the winter during National Signing Day was that "they know what to do when the ball is in the air". Playing both sides gives players an opportunity to learn the subtle nuances of each position. It makes sense that having played wide receiver, learning the routes, the tricks to get open, etc would help pay dividends when you line up as a corner and try and defend against it. With that said, Petrino would absolutely steal him in a second to play offense if he wants him.
The book on Owens is that he has size, and speed, but also "tackles the football" according to Coach Sirmon. He showed a couple clips during NSD where he not only aggressively went after the tackle, but once wrapped up, went after the ball. I talked about turnovers being a key to this season last week so I love the guys who rip/punch at the ball once the tackle is secure. Seeing a "hitstick" tackle is always fun and usually makes a highlight tape, but I'd love to see a strip or forced fumble mixed in there as well. Owens can do that.
Not sure how many reps Owens will see this year but he helps the future look bright in the secondary.
I Ain't Regular— Rodney Owens Jr (@_IAmRod) June 22, 2017
Yep, part of getting older Rodney. I'd suggest introducing more fiber in your diet but if that doesn't work consult a physician.