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April 28, 2012 @ 5:09 pm
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Bucs Add Speedy RB Smith In Seventh Round

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Tampa Bay added some speed to the backfield with the selection of Utah State running back Michael Smith in the seventh round. Smith, who was timed at 4.32 in the 40-yard dash, averaged 7.3 yards per carry during his Aggies career, and will be a complementary back to LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin.
Tampa Bay added another running back in the NFL Draft by taking Utah State’s Michael Smith in the seventh round with the 212nd overall pick. The Bucs used one of their two first-round picks to add Boise State running back Doug Martin to Tampa Bay’s backfield. Martin will likely split carries with LeGarrette Blount, the Bucs’ leading rusher over the last two seasons, and Smith is expected to compete with Mossis Madu for a roster spot as a change-of-pace back and a special teams contributor.

“It is a great opportunity,” Smith said. “Whole new coaching staff and stuff. I know they drafted a running back though – Martin from Boise State – and I feel like it is a great opportunity for me to play as a running back [and] on special teams and be a major impact in the National Football League on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and create mismatches on offenses.

“Just watch the film. My college piece says I am very patient. I am not selfish, and when the opportunity came forward, I just took and made the most of it. Through special teams, through whatever they wanted to use me at, I just made myself more valuable for the team and for myself to help the team win.”

Smith rushed for 870 yards and nine touchdowns on 114 carries during his senior season as a complement to Robert Turbin, who rushed for 1,517 yards and 19 scores in 2011. Smith, who averaged 7.6 yards per carry in 2011, also caught 16 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns last year.

The 5-foot-8, 206-pound Smith ended his career on a high note by rushing for 121 yards on 18 carries against New Mexico State and a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where he was the Co-MVP. Those contests were the only two 100-yard games in Smith’s career at Utah State.

“Oh yes, at the end those two 100-yard games, and especially at the bowl game on national television with everybody watching, I was a MVP or co-MVP of that bowl game,” Smith said. “That was a great boost for me and a great boost for my confidence. It made scouts open to know more about me and tell them I am for real and want to play in the National Football League. I am glad the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given me the opportunity.”

Prior to his senior season, Smith had rushed for 443 yards and six touchdowns on 70 carries, in addition to 22 catches for 243 yards and two scores. He used his blazing speed to average 7.3 yards per carry during his Utah State career.

Smith had seven career runs of 35 yards or more, including five of 50 yards or more, in addition to touchdown catches of 47, 53 and 54 yards in his Aggies career.

Smith said the fastest 40-yard dash time was 4.26, but he was clocked as low as 4.32 in front of NFL scouts at his pro day.

“Yes I am fast, but I feel my mental toughness [is my strength],” Smith said. “I was not the starter when I was at Utah State. I had Robert Turner right in front of me. He was a great running back, so I just seized the opportunity when they gave it to me. I believe my mental toughness and not getting down on myself because everything doesn’t go your way. You’ve got to keep fighting each and every day.”

Tampa Bay now has five running backs on its 2012 roster, including Blount, Martin, Smith, Madu and Robert Hughes.
Last modified on Saturday, 28 April 2012 17:35

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  • avatar

    Did our scouting department do a better job, or having Shiano and company call the picks do a better job? This head coach has vision, and a clear direction on how he wants his football team to be. It's nice to have substance over B.S..
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    Blount and Martin will be splitting and Smith will end up being a change of pace guy. I have seen him, he can bock and is very explosive and a threat every touch. I liked Madu, but he lacked instincts and I didn;t see him blocking. Doesn't mean he can't block, not sure, but I know Smith can. Just like the last 2 years, shore up the DT spot, then DE, now RB and a bunch of the secondary. LBs are looking like David, Foster, Watson, Black, and Hayward right now. Would not be surprised to see another signed and Hayward being let go. Anyway I look at it though, they are not much better than a .500 team this year but the peices are all falling into place. The BIGGEST thing is the DT rotation being healthy and productive this year. If McCoy is healthy and plays like he started too at the beginning of last year, the entire D-Line will be vastly improved and the sack total should top 35. Can't wait to see it all come together over the next couple years.
  • avatar

    I have searched hard for some USU film and Smith and noticed that he does not shy away from contact and is a GREAT pass blocker and does pretty well as fullback. Not saying he will be a fullback at 205 but a third down back and KR special teams for sure. GREAT JOB BUCS and DOM!
  • avatar

    seat26: I love when posters bring up names from the past. I have Jerry Eckwood's # 43 practice jersey that I like to wear to the Throwback game. Jerry really burst on the scene in 1979 but injuries cut his once promising career short. In that famous monsoon of the Kansas City game, with the score deadlocked at 0-0 Jerry took one to the outside appearing to be headed for a TD when the ball just popped out of his hands. He and the late Ricky Bell formed quite a duo that year. Regarding our newest little scat back. It's not often you find a player with this kind of speed weighing 206. It's going to be interesting to see what he does in Training Camp.
  • avatar

    4.26 at 206 pounds? wow.
  • avatar

    If you watched what Sproles did for the Saints last year, that is exactly what Smith can do for us. He was the fastest player in the draft this year. He has a real nice burst when he touches the ball, and he can catch the ball well and stretch the field too. I was hoping we would take Chris Rainey, but the Steelers grabbed him in the 5th round. Smith has the same tools that Rainey does and we were fortunate to get him that late in the draft. Shows our scouting team and DOM did a really fine job of finding this Gem who also averaged 21 yards a carry on run backs too. I think Smith will be able to beat out Madu, and give the Bucs that true change of pace back we have needed for years.
  • avatar

    good pickup.... wow, the scouts did their homework with this draft.... a speedy scatback..... cant go wrong...big upside potential to this pick
  • avatar

    I love having a speed option as a 3rd string RB and a special teams guy. Excellent pick.
  • avatar

    I think he replaces Chris Rainey that was picked earlier. He can do a lot of things which gives us more options.
  • avatar

    Keep Blount, you have Smith and Martin, now settle on a good blocking fullback and another halfback and we are set at the running back position!
  • avatar

    4.3 ? Wow. We haven'thad a running back that fast since Jerry Eckwood.
  • avatar

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