After finding out that Syracuse was A) recruiting a kicker B) he was in practice the next day and C) he was competing for a starting job, The Fizz caught up with the newest Orange, Jake Smith.
You’ve already seen his tape and the above screen shot is the scoreboard after his game-winning field goal with just seconds to play.
Notice where he was playing. The home of the Wissahickon Trojans. Which is actually Algonquin for “What an ass kickin’.” So that’s huge.
Alas, there’s more to his story.
“I got contacted Friday around noon and I was up here that night to fill out applications, meet coaches and see what I liked and it worked out well,” Smith told The Fizz.
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Smith was the ultimate trade deadline deal. He says the Orange didn’t start recruiting him until it became public this week.
As a matter of fact, he had never even been on campus before Friday.
“I had some walk-on offers out of high school, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. Whether it be the school or the athletics, in certain cases both. This is the perfect offer for me. I get to play great Big East football with the opportunity to start right away.”
You have to love “great” and “Big East football” used in the same sentence.
According to Smith, Coach Marrone has not sat down with him yet to talk about his role with the team will be. He’s waiting for the pads and seeing him in real action.
Marrone had said previously that from his time in the NFL, he likes to wait until players get into full gear before really evaluating their chances. He’s made wrong reads before just by watching workouts.
“Once I get more reps, I’m assuming (Coach Marrone) will sit down with me and give me a better idea of what my role is. Right now I’m here to compete. I’m not here to sit on the bench. Ryan (Lichtenstein) is a great kicker, but I’m here because I wanna start. I’m planning on competing and hopefully winning the placekicking and kickoff duties,” Smith said.
He even says he stroked a field goal from 57 yards Wednesday before practice started and thinks he’s a better place kicker than punter.
Other Big East schools recruited Smith, but he declined to say which they were because, “I’m not very pleased with (those schools) so I’ll let them remain nameless.”
Sounds like a competition.
Marrone said earlier in the week that a depth chart would be coming out Monday. Should be interesting.