Smith Having Solid Junior Campaign

Conway High quarterback Breylin Smith opened some eyes with an impressive sophomore season, but he has earned even more attention through four games this year.

Breylin Smith burst onto the scene with a solid sophomore season, but he and Conway have been even better in 2014.

A year after leading the Wampus Cats to a 9-3 record and appearance in the Arkansas Class 7A semifinals, Smith has quarterbacked Conway to a 4-0 start and No. 1 overall ranking in the state, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“It’s been pretty good,” Smith said. “We’re getting better every day and we’re taking practice one day at a time.”

Conway had only two returning starters on defense from last year’s team, putting more pressure on Smith. However, Smith is aided by eight other returners on the offensive side of the ball.

As a sophomore, he completed 149 of 243 passes (61.3 percent) for 2,003 yards, 20 touchdowns and just six interceptions, earning him a spot on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All Metro team.

With an extra year under his belt this season, Smith said he feels like he has improved in several areas.

“I’m not being greedy by forcing passes,” Smith said. “I am making checks and getting us in a good play if we have a bad play called. My deep ball has also gotten better.”

That improvement has already been on display through four games. Despite throwing an average of three more passes per game, Smith’s completion percentage is up to 62.1 percent. He is also on pace to have 2,858 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in the regular season alone.

His only offer so far is from Central Arkansas, which is just down the road from Conway High School, but he said he has received interest from schools such as Arkansas, Memphis, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Texas.

Smith’s father, Bryan Smith, was a defensive end at Arkansas during the mid-‘90s, so an offer from the Razorbacks would be extra special for the Conway quarterback.

“It would mean a lot,” Smith said. “That’s the team everyone thinks about when they think about Arkansas. It’s a great program and coach (Bret Bielema) has done a great job.”

He was in Fayetteville for the Razorbacks’ 52-14 win over Northern Illinois and he said he really enjoyed the atmosphere. Smith also said he could tell Arkansas had improved from last season.

“The defense has gotten a lot better,” Smith said. “Also, the offensive line and running backs are great. That makes it easy on the quarterback. They’re getting better every week.”

The Razorbacks have a bye week, but Smith will lead the Wampus Cats against Van Buren Friday at John McConnell Stadium in Conway.

Although Hooten’s lists Conway as a 20-point favorite, Smith said he and his teammates are viewing it as a chance to get better.

“You can’t take any team lightly,” Smith said. “Last week, we got off to a slow start. We want to come out hot and keep it going.”

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