Sudden Impact: Smith, Young LBs Making Some Noise

Last year's top-ranked recruiting class was loaded with linebackers and none have made a bigger splash than SLB <B>Garnet Smith </b>who is filling the cleats of <B>Lee Jackson </b>who completed his eligibility last January after, what, eight or nine seasons?

The 6-3, 220-pounder was among the 10 signees from last year's talented group of 25 to remove his redshirt. The sophomore-to-be played in all 13 games, mainly on special teams, but has used the first eight days of spring drills to solidify his starting spot alongside MLB Reed Boyd and WLB Derrick Johnson.

"Garnet Smith is really fast and he loves to play football," head coach Mack Brown said after Thursday's scrimmage at Royal-Memorial Stadium. "He's had some great licks during the first couple of scrimmages. He's come through during some of our team periods and knocked some people out. He's a natural football player."

Smith logged some snaps as a backup WLB last year, registering 11 tackles on the season. He posted a career-best four tackles at Texas Tech and registered his first collegiate QB sack at North Carolina. Smith was a three-year starter at linebacker at Fort Worth Arlington Lamar, including a school record 28 starts.

Aaron Harris, another member of the fab freshman 'backers last fall, is coming on strong as the backup MLB after appearing in all 13 games last season on special teams. He was credited with 13 special team tackles and forced a fumble against Texas A&M. The 6-0, 230-pounder from Mesquite should see significant action this fall as Brown, in essence, compared Harris to QB Vince Young.

"Aaron is moving up quite a bit," Brown added. "It's kind of like our quarterback situation. Aaron's got a whole lot of ability. Reed's got a lot of ability, but he's got a lot of experience. Reed's taken a bunch of snaps, and that means a whole lot in this game. We're trying to build depth right now. We're trying to get Garnet settled and build depth with Aaron."

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