January 14, 2011

Smith welcomes opportunity to bounce back

Conner Smith is looking forward to the opportunity to leave his days of high school football behind.

Well, his senior year at least.

Smith, a 3-star pro-style quarterback from Richmond (Texas) Travis who committed to Colorado State back in August didn't have the senior season he had hoped for, throwing for less than 1,000 yards, only 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

"It wasn't a great year, I had some trouble with receivers not catching balls and passes being deflected," Smith said on Thursday. "I feel like I'm kind of disappointed to play not as well as I would have liked to, but at the same time, it gives me motivation to work harder and get to where I want to be."

He'll have the opportunity to be there soon enough.

The 6-foot-4, 213-pound Smith said he was originally planning on moving to Fort Collins, Colo. In July, but after talking with quarterbacks coach Darren Wilkinson, it looks like the move will come in June. And with the transfer of former quarterback Nico Ranieri from CSU, an opportunity for Smith to play earlier in his career could be an option.

The original plan was for the Houston area prospect to redshirt in 2011, but that might no longer be the case.

"Don't get me wrong, it's definitely exciting to have a chance to play early," he said. "But I think it would benefit me with a redshirt year just to experience college and see what it's like and to also get stronger through the weight program.

"At the same time, I do want to play so I'' just have to take it as I go."

Assuming Smith signs with the Rams in February, as he reconfirmed he would, he will be one of three scholarship quarterbacks on roster, along with sophomore and returning starter Pete Thomas and Garrett Grayson, who spent 2010 as a grayshirt.

Though he was originally planning on playing baseball this spring and pitching for Travis High School to help him remain in shape, Smith and his coach came to an agreement that it would be best if the future college quarterback stuck to his own workout regiment.

Smith said his workout routine is for three hours a day, five days a week and feels it should have him in good position come summer workouts to help make an impact with CSU.

He's in good academic standing and should have no problem qualifying. He also holds an offer from UTEP.

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