I finally caught up with Colorado transfer Josh Smith, and really, I think UCLA is in store for big things. The kid has looked fantastic on the scout team, and along with Joseph Fauria, he adds to true targets in the passing game next season. With the lack of explosiveness at wideout this season, Smith could become the Bruins’ top target next year.
With the graduation of Terrence Austin, Smith, Damien Thigpen and Randall Carroll will fill the role of returner admirably.
Here’s what Smith had to say:
What do you think you’ll add to UCLA?
“Really, I feel there’s a big opening for me, a big opportunity for me, to come right in and fill the void of wide receivers making a lot more plays out there. I feel like next year is going to be a big time for to compete and be the guy. I want to fine-tune the receiver group as a whole, get us on one accord. I want to change the whole attitude of the receivers, for all of us to know that we’re going to make plays next year.”
What has impressed you most about UCLA so far?
“First of all, man, the defense. The defense is really impressive. At Colorado, I was always that guy just hoping that we’d get a turnover so I could get back on the field. I’d dare them to throw the ball to me after a turnover. To continue to see these guys go out there and get two or three picks a game by one person, another two by another. I have never really been a guy to witness that over at Colorado.”
“Secondly, the attitude of these players. They all were dominant players where they were before. They know how to lose well and they know how to win well. That takes a strong person to know how to continue to rally back and not continue that bad attitude into the locker room after a tough loss. These guys have been in every game, not been blown out by any of these teams, when a lot of these teams are capable of blowing out a lot of teams.”
How hard is it not to play right now?
“I don’t sweat that any more. I’ll wait my turn. I’ve been in the fire before, and now I’m sitting back, but I’m seeing that the game isn’t changing. As long as I keep working, it keeps me eager to get back in the fire.”
“Watching the game is actually hard. It’s a whole lot harder to watch than play. I’m more nervous watching than I’ve ever been as a player. A lot of people thought I’d be extremely nervous to go on the field my true freshman year. No, I’m extremely nervous to go on the field my redshirt year. I know I can’t help.”
How have you improved in your redshirt season so far?
“I feel like I’ve fine-tuned everything. I feel faster. I feel like my routes are a lot more crisp. I feel like I’m more of an aggressive player, not a guy who’s just a speed-burner. I get really good reps against guys l ike Alterraun Verner and Rahim Moore.”