#81 Braden Smith
Position: Wide Receiver
Hometown: Flowood, MS
Thoughts: Every season there is one or two guys who are new to the squad that fans are excited to see step on the field for the first time. Sometimes it’s freshman, sometimes it’s transfers, and this time, well, I think’s a JUCO guy. Braden Smith isn’t a name that skyrocketed up the recruiting rankings out of high school, or a guy who had a run of bad academic luck, in fact he was a walk on at Mississippi State who had a tough time finding a spot on the depth chart with the Bulldogs offense and made the call to move to the JUCO level to rack up some stats and try and turn some heads in an offense that suited his skill set a little better.
Coach Brewer noticed Braden last season, thought the Cards could use some depth in the slot and Smith joined the team. Now, at the time the Cards were a bit stacked up in that area with Tutu, Keion Wakefield, Josh Johnson, and a couple younger guys but, things have changed. Wakefield is gone (WVU), Johnson is a potential health liability and the younger players are still looking to pan out, so Smith has a big opportunity to not only play backup to Tutu but to get on the field at other spots at the wideout position or on special teams.
I feel like I’ve repeated myself the last five or six years but the Cards have some legit pro talent at wide receiver and Braden has a couple seasons to prove he belongs in that category. Take a look at some tape from his time in JUCO where he showed off the wheels, the hands, and the ability to take a punch or two across the middle. I think Smith is going to be another fun guy to watch in 2020.
Sweet Tweet: Smith retweeted this from the football account back when spring practice started up in February. Braden put someone in the spin cycle so bad around 23 seconds in the clip below I couldn’t even see the guys number and he disappeared from the frame forever. Probably better off that way if we’re just being real with each other.