Watch Smith in action at the National Select 7-on-7:
Hoover, Ala.—With the National Select 7-on-7 taking part at Hoover High School this weekend, two of the biggest names in attendance are Auburn quarterback commitments Jason Smith and Jeremy Johnson. In addition to both trying to lead their teams to the overall title, they're trying to continue a relationship that has been building over the course of the last few months.
Competition breeds improvement when talking about sports because it pushes players to become better and better. That's something that Smith said he realizes and he's looking forward to competing against Johnson when both get to Auburn next year.
The 6-1 standout from McGill-Toolen has already had a chance to witness Johnson in action first-hand however as the two were teamed together for the Junior All-Star Basketball Game recently in Alabama. Watching as the 6-5 Johnson earned MVP honors by putting on a show on the court, Smith said he got a glimpse of the athleticism of the big man.
"We have talked and gotten to know each other, especially after the all-star game," Smith said. "He's a freak athlete. It looks like he could do Division I in basketball too and that's pretty scary for a guy like that."
Smith is no slouch athletically however as he's around 180 pounds at the moment with consistent 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash. Playing quarterback for Coach Bart Sessions and the Yellow Jackets, Smith said getting to play in a passing tournament of this caliber is a great opportunity for him and his teammates heading into the season.
"It's real big for me and my teammates to perform well and put our school back on the map," Smith said. "We're not the most athletic team out of this whole tournament, but we have players that will get it done and that will go hard every play. That's what we need.
"We work hard and do everything we're supposed to do," Smith added. "We're organized in everything that we do and we're disciplined. On defense we're in our spots. Everybody is in the right place to make plays and that's all we can ask for."
Because of his speed and athletic ability, Smith is a very dangerous runner from the shotgun position and that is a huge part of the offense for McGill-Toolen in the fall. That's not something that is available in a passing camp however and because of that he said it makes them concentrate on improving every aspect of the passing game.
"It's helping me and my receivers," Smith said. "We adjust to our offensive line. If we've got big 6-3, 300 guys we're going to run the ball. This year we've kind of got some thinner, more athletic guys so we're going to run the spread and do our thing."
Teams that struggled against McGill-Toolen last fall because of the speed of Smith in the backfield and a group of talented receivers led by Carl Lee won't be happy to see the Yellow Jackets in 2012. Going to an up-tempo offense designed after what Oregon is doing on the West Coast, Smith said everything revolves around speed and getting to the line of scrimmage in a hurry. He said because of that and the talent they have he's looking for big things in his final year at McGill-Toolen.
"It's crazy, especially at practice," Smith said. "I know people talk about how quarterbacks don't do anything, but we get it done. I think it's going to cause some defenses some problems."