If Robert Marve is the key to the season, Keith Smith is the player that will help him find the lock. Few receivers this year will be as feared as Smith. Michael Floyd at Notre Dame is one that I am terrified of, but most of our opponents know that Smith will be a tough player for them to stop. That's what happens when you return as a first-team All-Big Ten selection.
Keith Smith - Sr. (5)
Hometown: Ft. Hood, TX (Shoemaker HS)
2010 Projection: Starter at wide receiver
When Keith Smith gets drafted in April he will have taken quite a circuitous route to the NFL. He originally came to Purdue as a quarterback, where he threw for 75 touchdowns in high school. He also kicked and punted, showing further that he has ridiculous potential in the game of football. When Torri Williams and Aaron Lane were injured early in the 2006 season we converted him to safety out of necessity. He played in 11 games at the position in 2006, even starting at Hawaii.
In 2007 he did not play at all, thus resulting in the rare redshirt year in his second year on campus. He converted back to offense, moving to wide receiver. Knowing we didn't have much at the position in 2008 he moved into Dorien Bryant's empty slot position and caught 49 passes for 486 yards and two scores. Like Antavian Edison, his first career reception was a touchdown.
Last year Smith blew up. He bulked up and became a matchup nightmare much like Dustin Keller was at Purdue. He finished with 91 catches for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns. He also showed his old quarterback roots by throwing a key touchdown pass at Oregon to Aaron Valentin. He topped the Big Ten in receptions and yards. Look for Notre Dame to worry greatly about him in week one after he torched them for 11 catches, 136 yards, and a touchdown last year.
Honestly, I would not be surprised is Smith's numbers took a slight dip this year for two reasons. First, every team we face is going to give him a lot of attention. Second, with Justin Siller, Cortez Smith, Antavian Edison, O.J. Ross, and Gary Bush we have a lot of guys to spread the ball around to. Still, Smith is a big, strong receiver that runs great routes and is hard to bring down. He will very likely leave Purdue in the top 10 all-time in receptions and yards, while maybe even reaching the top 5.
Smith is respected off the field as well. He was selected as the player's representative to speak at the Big Ten kickoff luncheon a few weeks ago.
Jackson developing jump shot | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN
Lewis Jackson has been working hard this summer. I hope Kelsey Barlow is doing the same.
Painter, Purdue unfazed by recruiting misses | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star
And we shouldn't be fazed, either. It's a fickle process.
Division dominoes: Wisconsin, Iowa to split - Big Ten Blog - ESPN
This is not a bad divisional split for Purdue.
Stu's Crew | UFL
One of my favorite Boilers of all time, Stu Schweigert, is still kicking around for the Omaha Nighthawks.
College Football BlogPoll Top 25: Alabama Predictably On Top Of Preseason Rankings - SBNation.com
The BlogPoll debuts for 2010, with a shocking (read: not shocking) #1.