VandyMania Interview: WR Brandon Smith

Senior wide receiver <B>Brandon Smith</b> opened the season Saturday with a solid performance against South Carolina, hauling in 7 passes for 88 yards. The New Orleans native talks about the season-opening loss to the Gamecocks, and expounds on his philosophies regarding trash-talking.


VandyMania: Brandon, the season has gotten off to a disappointing start. Several of the guys have said they don't want to put all the eggs in one basket, and that you still have ten games to play. I guess you've got to lean on that philosophy.

Senior wide receiver Brandon Smith: Yeah. We have no choice now. But we've said from the get-go that we've got to take 'em one game at a time. We would've liked to have won that game, but it didn't work out that way. We just have to give everything in the next game, and hopefully we'll win that one and go from there. We've got to keep our heads up.

VM: As a senior, I guess it's part of your responsibility to keep the younger players' heads up too.

Brandon: Yeah. We've been showing the younger guys the ropes, not only as far as football is concerned, but once school started, we've been doing things like showing them the ropes with school-- how to study and things like that. It's important, because even our true freshmen have a chance to play this year if they're good enough. We really didn't want anyone this year thinking they were going to redshirt. We need everybody we can get to win some games.

VM: The team seems to have a lot of weapons at receiver this year. You've got your big three back in Erik Davis, Chris Young and you, and you've got Marlon White, who looks outstanding. Then you've got several younger guys that you can bring along slowly and use as secret weapons if you need them.

Brandon: We feel like we're very deep at receiver this year. And that's pretty good, because now the coaches can switch us up and spread us out all over the field. And if we get tired, we've got plenty of other guys who can come into the game and provide the same intensity that the older guys can provide.

VM: How are the freshmen, Bryant Anderson and Sean Walker, looking?

Brandon: They're doing really good. Fantastic, really. Hopefully they'll be contributors during the year, and if not then, for several years to come.

VM: I know you're focused on the season right now, but this time next year you'll be graduated. Do you have any aspirations of playing in the NFL?

Brandon: Yes, hopefully, if I end up having a good year this year. All I really need is a chance to get my foot in the door. Yeah, I'm hoping to do that.

VM: Some wide receivers and DB's these days talk a lot of trash to each other, and others don't. Are you much of a trash-talker?

Brandon: No, I'm not a trash-talker. I just play football. That's all I try to do-- just let my play do the talking.

VM: Does it ever bother you when DB's talk trash to you? And I know they do.

Brandon: I don't really pay attention to it at all. You learn eventually to just tune it out. You just go back to the line and catch the next one. If they talk trash, sometimes I just say, I'll be back in 24 seconds. Next play!

VM: You have a very talented younger brother playing at St. Augustine High School, I understand.

Brandon: Yeah, my brother is a junior in high school this year. He's playing receiver, and he has another year of high school after this one. Hopefully he'll do pretty good and be able to go to school somewhere. If he sticks to it and works hard, he could definitely play somewhere. He's out there running track, so that will help him out too, if he sticks with it.

VM: You're on track to graduate this year with a major in Computer Science, correct?

Brandon: No, actually I switched it to Human and Organizational Development.

VM: How has the Vanderbilt experience been for you?

Brandon: Oh, it's been awesome. I wish I could start it all over again. It all goes by so fast. My freshman year just seems like it was yesterday. But time flies. I've learned you've got to appreciate the time that you do have. If I could do it all over again, I would.

Brandon Smith (right) and Erik Davis make for a formidable pair of wide receivers for the 2004 Commodores.

Photos by Brent Wiseman, Copyright 2004 for Top Stories