Quantcast

Michael Smith Talks About Being New UK Football Assistant - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Michael Smith Talks About Being New UK Football Assistant

Posted: Updated:

Kentucky Football 

Joe Craft Football Training Facility – Lexington, Ky.

February 12, 2018

Michael Smith – Wide Receivers

On recruiting in Louisiana for Kentucky …

“It’s the brand. I think what a lot of people don’t understand about a lot of kids from Louisiana is that they are willing to leave the state. The fact that Kentucky is a SEC football program, I think we’re in the best conference in college football. I had the opportunity to be on the other side of the conference for the last five years and then to come on this side of the conference and in the games that we’ve played, the SEC is the SEC and I think that’s a big sell for a lot of kids not only in Louisiana, but everybody.”

On being known as a good recruiter being a big reason Stoops brought him to Kentucky …

“I hope recruiting was one of the big reasons I was brought here. That’s a part of college coaching. You have to be a great coach and you also have to be able to recruit. I’ve also prided myself in being a great recruiter, but I don’t want to just be labeled as a recruiter. I think I am heck of a football coach. I’ve had a proven track record as a running backs coach and as a wide receivers coach to be able to coach some special guys and help them move on in their careers. But as a college coach you have to be a tremendous recruiter and I know that helps. It does help.”

On his ties to the Stoops family …

“I’ve known the Stoops family since I was 18-years-old around 1989 when Bob Stoops was on the coaching staff at K-State. Mike Stoops and I worked together at Kansas state and I played against Mark Stoops my freshman year when he was at Iowa. I was a freshman receiver at Kansas State and we played each other. I got to meet the family and played with a bunch of guys that they knew at Kansas State. I’ve always been really involved with their family. Mrs. Stoops – Mark’s mom – is a great woman. She was a big fan of mine when I was playing so I got to know her and then obviously when I worked for her sons. I’ve got such great respect for their family story and I’m excited to be here. Mark and I worked together at Arizona for two years and when this opportunity came open, I reached out to him and said I would be very interested in becoming a Kentucky Wildcat. It worked out and I’m just ecstatic to be here with my family. We feel so blessed to have this opportunity.”

On playing against Stoops when he played at Iowa …

“He was a deep safety. I was in the slot and he was way back. He didn’t want to cover me. But I will say that they beat the crap out of us that day. It was one of those days where he probably played the first half and then didn’t play much after that.”

On getting to know his wide receivers …

“Right now I’m just trying to learn their names. I’ve had some meetings with a couple of guys. For example, I brought in Dorian Baker because I’ve heard that Dorian is the older guy of the group. I knew Tavin Richardson from recruiting. I brought him in and I picked is brain about what he thought about the receiving corps and the team because I want to help these guys chase their dreams individually, but I also want to help them realize that we have to do it as a team. My biggest thing with these guys is that I don’t want anyone to ever look at our position group as a weak link. My deal is to challenge those guys to give me everything that they have both on and off the field to become the best football players and best people that they can become.”

On the message to his players going into spring practice …

“The first thing I always ask every guy that I recruited and I’ve coached is what are their aspirations in college football and most of them say that they want to play in the NFL. I tell them that I’ve been fortunate enough to have the experience to play at that level and be around guys that are at that level and if that’s what you want to do, there’s a certain way that you have to do it. There are certain steps that you have to take to become that type of player. I tell the guys that I just want you to be the best you that you can be. I don’t need Superman. I need Dorian Baker to be the best Dorian Baker. I need Lynn Bowden to be the best Lynn Bowden he can be and so on and so forth. It goes from my top guy all the way to the bottom guy and again, I don’t want anyone to ever look at our position group or me as a coach as a weak link. It’s a challenge, but it’s one that I know these kids can accept because they have pride. Pride is a powerful thing and if you challenge a guy from that standpoint, I think that they’ll respond.”

On the development of Kentucky’s program under Coach Stoops …

“I think the job that Mark and the staff have done in getting these guys improved every year is something that you can build on. As a player, I came from a program that was at the bottom of college football, so I’ve been trained that way – to get better everyday. What Coach Stoops and the staff has done here is that. We watch the last five years – of course I’ve watched from afar, but it’s in the conference so you’re watching them on TV – you see guys out there playing hard. You see guys out there competing. I think if you can get your team to do that, and to keep making progress each year, I think you’re headed in the right direction and that was something I obviously wanted to be a part of.”

On keeping receivers on their A-game when running the ball is so important to Kentucky …

“It’s a challenge because the team comes first. We have to do what we have to do to win. I teach this – the media, the people that work in the cafeteria, myself, my kids, my family – if we can run the ball, everybody in the program is happy. If we’re running the ball the way we’ve been doing – you talked about Benny Snell, another great football player – if he’s able to go do what he’s capable of doing, we’re going to be fine outside. I’m going to challenge them. This is a team sport. When you’re running down the field to get open, what do you think Benny is back there doing for you guys? He’s blocking trying to protect the quarterback so that you can have an opportunity to catch a pass, so it goes both ways and it’s a team sport. You have to really believe that and dig into that and make these guys understand that when your opportunity comes you have to take advantage of it.”

On playing under Bill Snyder and what that meant to him …

“It’s everything that I am as a football coach. It’s everything that I am as a man. He and my father are my two most influential males that I’ve had in my life. He had an opportunity to take me in as a sophomore as a player and then later on in my coaching career, he got me started. Like I said, besides my dad, he’s probably the most influential male that I’ve had in my life as far my career is concerned. I owe everything that I am as a football coach to Bill Snyder.”

On Bill Snyder’s secret to success …

“He loves football. He loves helping young men reach their full potential. Mark was actually at Iowa playing for him when he was at Iowa. I think it’s also his grind. He doesn’t have a lot of hobbies. His hobby is football and coaching and he’s so meticulous and detailed in every aspect of the program, that’s why he’s been so successful. “

On coaching young receivers …

“There’s no doubt that I like the challenge of being able to mold those guys. I look forward to it. I’ve had a bunch of young receivers in my career. The thing about it is, like with anything else, you have to have patience. You have to understand that they are 17 and 18-year-old young men that are trying to find their way not only on the football field, but in life and there’s a lot of things that this game will help you develop and relate to in life. I try to tag those guys with that and challenge them with a lot of those things. Because if you can make it in here, you’ll probably have a lot of success out there.”

On what he sees in sophomore wide receiver Tavin Richardson …

“As a recruit, I just saw a big, long kid that made plays. He comes from a great program and I really got to know his dad very well. His dad was trying to get him out to Arkansas for camp and stuff like that. Obviously, we didn’t do a good enough job because he came to Kentucky, but he was just a really good player that had the potential to become a great player and I think that’s what you guys saw last year toward the end of the season. He started making those type of plays and my job is not to come in here and screw that up.”

On what kind of coach he is on the sidelines …

“I’m very enthusiastic. You’ll seeing me running up and down the sideline. I jump a lot. I think I’m a coach players can relate to, being a former wide receiver. I always try to step back and think about it like I said earlier, they are 17 and 18 years old, and if they knew everything I wouldn’t have a job. I try and step back and look at it from their lenses and then tell them that I’ve been through this so this is how they should do it. If you do it this way, you’ll have the success that you want. I always tell kids that say they want to be like me when they grow up that they don’t want to be like me, they want to be better than me. Because if you’re better than me you had a pretty good life because I’ve been blessed.”

On if he knows any of the incoming freshmen receivers…

“I don’t not know any of the receivers that recently signed. I actually just started watching tape on them. I think it’s a good, young group of guys that will come in here and will hopefully contribute and continue to grow and do what they need to do in order to help us win football games.”

On if having just 10 receivers on the roster is enough or if they need to add more…

“Where I’ve been, we usually carry three-deep at each position so that would put 12 in the room. I’ve had as many as 20 to 16. I’ve never had 10 so getting some walk-ons and some young guys that that will come in with this signing class will be good. It’s just depth and you never know how it’s going to go. I’ve been in the position where I’ve lost four receivers within 10 days, so guys have to step up and play.”

On if he knows of a walk-on who turned out to compete and play …

“Me. I was a walk-on that turned out to be great. Me.”

On if he talks about his personal football journey with his players…

“I do. I’ve even shown them highlight tapes of myself. I want to show them what it takes to be like me. I was pretty good. I want to let them know that they have some big shoes to fill if they want to be like me. I have a great story. I like sharing it because I had an opportunity to walk on, play major, Division I football and I had a tremendous college career and had an opportunity to go on and play professional ball for awhile and it lead into me coaching. I have four beautiful children, a great wife, a great ex-wife, and I’ve got great friends. I’ve got a lot of people in this coaching business that have taken care of me. I’ve just been blessed and I appreciate everything that I’ve been given and I’m definitely going to go out and earn everything I can because I love football. I love coaching. I love being around young men.”

On Vince Marrow and if he played with him in the NFL …

“He did actually play with me. We were in Kansas City together. Vince was a big man like he is now. We had a lot of fun when we were in Kansas City together. He was actually one of my really good friends on the team. When they traded him and let him go I was a little upset, but it’s the business. We have remained friends over the years and he was actually one of the guys who called and said, ‘Hey Smitty, we want you over here.’ I was ready to get it done. He was a tremendous player, obviously he a tremendous football coach who does an unbelievable job recruiting and I’m excited to work with Vince.”

On Vince Marrow’s recruiting pitch to him as a coach…

“His message was basically that they’re getting it done here. He was just like, ‘Smitty, we’re getting it done.’ He was talking about how Mark is (as a boss) and that he’s not going to kill me. He’s good with the family, which with me getting into my late 40s and having kids, that’s important to me. I want to spend some time with them before they get out of here. Mark has always been a family guy and he took that after his two older brothers and his dad. Also, being a part of something that could be special was a huge selling point for me. This place has great facilities and good people so that’s big for me – being around good people.”

WEATHER
MaxTrack Doppler
Powered by Frankly

© LEX18.com 2018, LEX18.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?