THE ROAD TO THE DRAFT
Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
6-foot-1, 204 pounds
Draft projection: Late first, early second round
Lowdown: Smith is a smooth-running, home-run-hitting receiver and return man. Some teams will have him rated as high as the third WR in the draft. Some may have him eighth. He caught 61 passes for 824 yards in 2009 and had 67 for 1,055 yards with 12 TDs in 2010. He's the Atlantic Coast Conference's record-holder for career kickoff return yardage (2,983) and holds Maryland marks for career all-purpose yards (5,276) and touchdown receptions in a season (12). His all-purpose yardage total was second in on the ACC career list to Buffalo's C.J. Spiller.
While Smith left Maryland a year early, he's an inspiration off the field. He's the oldest of seven children and he had to help his mother, who had him at age 16, with child-care from an early age. His mom used to call him "the Microwave King" because he was adept at cooking meals for his siblings from the time he was in kindergarten. His mother put herself through school to get an associate of arts computer degree. Smith is the first male in his family to graduate college. He got his degree in criminal science in December.
Quote: "Yes, I was the oldest of 7. It had its ups and downs. I was always with my family. There were certain times when other kids would be able to go and have fun doing something, and I had responsibility. But that’s something I would not take back. ... For every one of me, there are a million other people in my situation. Like with my mom, there’s a million of her, a million other women making mistakes, being in relationships they probably shouldn’t be in, and there’s a kid that has to help his family -- make a decision whether to be positive or turn his back and go the wrong way. When you’re an athlete, it gets more attention."