BREAKING: The Purdue Boilermakers have taken all football players named CJ from the Georgia Bulldogs.
Following the addition of former Bulldog CJ Madden on defense, Purdue has secured his teammate, wide receiver CJ Smith. The 6’3” redshirt freshman Smith appeared in nine games for Georgia, catching six passes for 116 yards.
What CJ Smith Brings to Purdue
If you listened to Drew Schneider and I discuss the passing game this past year, you heard us lament the fact that the Boilermakers didn’t have too many lengthy “go up and get a well-contested pass on the sideline” type of receivers. CJ Smith is a huge acquisition in that department.
What needs to be acknowledged: Smith was a late bloomer who grew two inches as he was nursing a knee injury in high school. He was also a track star with 10.3 speed. Georgia took the composite four-star with upside in mind, and he’s shown on the field that when he gets reps and gets separation, his speed and length establish him as a deep threat.
This is a kid who battled injuries and played for a middling team in a very challenging division of Florida high school football. Not to call him a project, but he had a later start than a lot of players. Smith is a guy who can become a 500-yard receiver as he continues to grow with three years of eligibility remaining in an offense that’s been missing a player of his height with his potential on the outside.
In watching his high school film, one of the things that impressed me most was his ability to track and anticipate passes thrown over his shoulder. The offensive coaching staff certainly doesn’t want to shy away from launching downfield (and their efforts in high school recruiting and the transfer portal are reflective of this), and CJ Smith is the exact kind of guy with the build and skills to fill a void, even if he lacks the experience.
Where He Fits In The Program
Look for Smith to contribute his first year in West Lafayette, but after year one in a new system, I see him as a quarterback’s go-to-guy on anything worse than third and medium.
If CJ Smith stays healthy, he’ll be a huge asset for the Boilers’ offense going forward.