University of Missouri wide receiver Justin Smith described sitting out as a redshirt last season as “excruciating,” but also admitted that he learned quite a bit while sitting out during his first season on campus.
“If I would’ve been playing last year, I don’t know what I would’ve expected coming out,” Smith said. “But sitting back and watching and learning all the keys from the seniors that we had last year and some of the sophomores and juniors coming up, they were really teaching us, letting us know, talking to us about what we needed to learn, but they were really prepping up for this year.”
A 6-foot-7, 200-pounder, Smith quickly became a fan favorite because of his unique size for the position and potential as a difference-maker in the red zone. But the big fella still remains a bit of a mystery among the Tigers’ considerable wide receiver group because he has yet to officially take the field.
That is fine with him, apparently.
Asked following Friday’s practice what people should expect when he does hit the field, Smith wasn’t willing to tip his hand.
“Y’all won’t know until you see,” he said. “Can’t say much.”
Smith, who recorded 65 receptions for 1,038 yards and 13 touchdowns during his senior season in high school, was one of three freshmen wide receivers — along with Johnathon Johnson and Richaud Floyd — who sat out as freshmen in the fall.
No, Smith isn’t going to reveal what those other two bring to the field, either.
“You’re going to have to see when we play,” Smith said. “We all have our own individual aspects, but at the end of the day we’ve all got a lot of built-up pressure from being the redshirts.”
Smith did explain that the personal pressure he feels after redshirting during the 2015 season comes from wanting to be a better player and working to learn the game and his keys.
The Georgia native may not be much of a mystery for long.
Missouri fans will get a chance to see what Smith can do next Saturday during the team’s annual Black and Gold Scrimmage.
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