Cowboys Fans Keeping An Eye On Jeremy Smith

STILLWATER - Just before the Oklahoma State Cowboys hit the practice field Saturday morning for the second practice of fall camp and the second straight day in helmets, jersey and shorts the cloud cover yielded some light rain and it seemed to cool things off a little bit. Head coach Mike Gundy put the team through a practice that ran almost two and a half hours.

It was similar to the first practice on Friday with a lot of individual work, a lot of teaching, some 7-on-7 work and a team period to polish it off.

Joining the team for the opening weekend of fall camp are the OSU Xtreme Campers. These are OSU fans that pay a price to attend the first weekend of fall camp, meet the coaches and team, attend practices and meetings and even eat training table with the team.

These are educated fans that come in with pretty heady knowledge of the program and a lot of the Xtreme campers had their eyes on the running backs.

They know Jeremy Smith as he is a senior who has played in 39 games in his career with 232 carries for 1,439 yards and 25 touchdowns. Great numbers for a player that has not been a starter.

His career per carry average is a stout 6.2, but he has never had to be the guy. He has missed some games to injury and he has not been real successful as a receiver out of the backfield.

"There are some unknowns like with Jeremy Smith because he has played a bunch but he has never been the guy," said running backs coach Jemal Singleton. "He has never had to be the starter. So you see him and Desmond (Roland), who has really kind of developed as an overall student-athlete.

"In the spring we had tutors talking about how he had developed and then we saw it on the field as well. Caleb Muncrief still has to develop and show us who he is, and then we have the two rookie freshmen Rennie Childs and Corion Webster and, as a coach, I was really excited they both decided to come here."

Smith has been getting plenty of work in the first two days of practice. Along with all the other running backs, there is a concerted effort to have fullback Key Staley more involved. This summer offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich had said he wanted Staley to get more touches.

The passing game requires a lot of reps in practice to have it right, but so does the run game.

"We've got after it and picked it up," said Smith of the early practice work. "We can't leave any day out here. I've been out here for a long time and you have to take each practice for what it is and know that you can't get any day back. I think we have a lot to improve on but I think we are doing well."

As for the health issue, which seems to be a concern for all Cowboy football fans and the coaches as well, Smith looks really fit. He has always shown up well in the weight room.

"Yeah, Coach (Rob) Glass, Coach Joel (Tudman), and Coach Gary (Calcagno) you know they are always getting after us and telling us this is where it starts in the summer time. If you don't prepare then once two-a-days begin you're not going to do anything," said Smith.

During interviews on Friday, Smith heard offensive lineman Devin Davis say he gave up dairy products this summer. Smith added he was just the opposite.

"I have to have my milk," said the 5-10, 208-pound back who can be a battering ram at times. "I just actually started back drinking it, because I didn't like milk."

Smith also brags on the training table as dinner is really good, but all the meals are good.

"Barbeque chicken and corn-on-the-cob, and it was a pretty good meal," said Smith of the previous night's dinner. "Just to have that facility and be able to eat all that food is lovely."

For Smith, he needs to keep eating, keep lifting, keep working, and most of all keep healthy. If OSU fans could get a guarantee that Smith will be healthy all season long then that would make them feel a little more confident about the soon to start season.

The Cowboys will put the shoulder pads and helmets on early Sunday morning and the real hitting will commence as the NCAA acclimatization period continues before wrapping up Tuesday when full pads go on for the first time.

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