DAILY DOSE: Pasadena RB Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith - yes, he's quite a player. I like to think I was among the earliest to jump on his bandwagon - you may remember I talked him up after the East LA game 9/15 when he scored 4 TDs. He reminds me a bit of Karim Abdul-Jabbar, who starred at UCLA a few years ago and had a couple 1000-yd seasons with the Dolphins.

Smith is probably above average in things like quickness and agility and he has breakaway speed (at this level anyway), but he doesn't have the sheer athletic ability of, say, El Co's Alvin Marshall.

The thing about Smith is he runs so hard. He does an outstanding job of spotting the hole quickly and hitting it so fast by the time defensive help arrives all they can do is get an arm on him. And Smith has very strong legs and lower body strength so he breaks a lot of arm tackles. He's not one of these guys who makes a big play out of nothing, but he makes a lot of little plays into big plays. I'm sure a lot of defenders go away saying "I ALMOST got him".

Pasadena has an excellent line, and he takes full advantage of them. According to the PCC media guide, he had 22 TDs his senior year of high school, so he sure knows where the end zone is. He's also an excellent receiver with good hands. They have him run a lot of short patterns and screens, and once he gets the ball in his hands all he needs is a little opening and look out. I'd love to see him end up at a 4-year with a decent offensive line. Could he be the tailback USC has been looking for since...I dunno, Marcus Allen left???

JCFootball.com note: Coach Maher says that USC has in fact requested film. Washington State, a team in search of a great JC tailback, has also expressed genuine interest.

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