Checking in with Torrey Smith

Pre-season All-ACC selection Torrey Smith talks to TSR as fall practice gets under way.

Consensus All-ACC wide receiver and returner Torrey Smith has already put up huge numbers on both offense and special teams in his two years starting for the Terrapins. Now he’s devoting himself to a part of the game that won’t show up on the stat sheet.

"I'm embracing [being a leader],” Smith said during Maryland football’s annual media day. “The biggest thing I can do is the thing I'm supposed to do, whether it's on or off the field. I have the respect of a lot of guys on our team and our coaches, so it's definitely my role to go out there and do the right thing and lead us to victory."

Even head coach Ralph Friedgen has taken notice of the receiver’s ability to help out players in the locker room.

“I don’t think there’s a kid that doesn’t relate to Torrey,” Friedgen said in a press conference on Tuesday. “…He’s unbelievable. God made a perfect person there. He’s just been such a pleasure for me to coach.”

A three-time member of the team’s leadership council, Smith can hopefully provide the guidance to spark the Terrapins to an improvement over their 2-10 record of a year ago. And in order to gain more wins, Smith is perfectly willing to look past any individual awards or accolades.

"It doesn't really matter to me too much if we win and I don't get anything,” Smith said. “I'll be more than happy. I'm definitely a team-first person. The awards, they're pretty cool, but realistically, they don't mean anything until after the season, and hopefully we do what we're supposed to do."

With Smith as such an integral part of both the team’s offense and their specials teams unit, the Terrapins need him to be at his best if they want to improve. In order to do that, they need the wideout to stay healthy, something in which he is working hard at in order to make happen.

"I'm trying to become more flexible, work on back problems, strengthen my hamstrings so I don't have those tweaks and injuries,” said the receiver. “I probably won't play as much this year because we have guys like Quintin McCree and Emani Lee-Odai who play beside me who are just as capable of doing the same thing I'm doing. When I need to get out of the game, I'll definitely get out."

With less passes going his way, one would expect Smith to be a little unhappy, but Smith instead sees it as a perfect situation. "Maybe less plays but more production,” insists Smith, “ [and] I’ll be fresher towards the end of the season."

If he wants to make those plays and produce up to his expectations, Smith is going to need to keep up the chemistry that he and starting quarterback Jamarr Robinson formed last year. That should be easy, though, as Smith and Robinson have developed a close relationship since becoming roommates.

“It’s very nice,” said Robinson. “Me and Torrey have become the best of friends, even more so since we moved in together. I mean, he’s a real family guy, and I’m a family guy. His family comes around and we all go out, my family comes around and we all go out. It’s just comforting to have someone that you’re that close to that you can depend on.”

Will that chemistry transfer over to the football field, though? Robinson seems to think so.

“[Our friendship] is going to be very handy,” he said, “because if I’m in trouble, then I see Torrey I know he’s going to make a play. And if not, we’re going to have some words, and he better make the next one.”

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