Playing Wide Receiver Big Willie Style

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 5, 2011 – 4:40 pm

AP Image

Meet your new redzone threat, rookie offensive tackle Willie Smith.

The Fresh Prince himself.

The East Carolina product currently registers at 6-6, 290 pounds, and is looking for a spot on the Redskins offensive line.

But a few short years ago,  Smith was 6-6, 225 pounds, and lined up at wide receiver at North Johnson High School in Kelly, N.C.


“They would send a few people out to catch a ball man, it was fun,” Smith said.  “I actually had like one year–or half a year–at East Carolina, at tight end.”

As Smith got bigger and stronger, he embraced a new role in the offense, but he’s never forgotten how fun it was to split out wide.

“It was fun to get everybody cheering your name, because on the line, y’know, you get no credit,” he said with a laugh. “They only know you if you blew it! But yeah man, it was definitely a fun experience.”

Judging from his present build, I’m going to guess he was no speed demon, but he said he was a good possession receiver.  “It was all athleticism man, they’d just throw it out there and I’d go get it.”

I’m going to need to see his yearbook photo.

By now, Smith has embraced his role of protecting the quarterback.  With the offensive line being a unit in transition, Smith has a chance to hang around if he plays well.  Like all undrafted guys, he’s just genuinely enjoying his time in training camp.

“It’s good man, everyday just trying to get better,” he said.  “Learning all of these different techniques and all this different terminology man. It’s simply been fun.”

So Willie, what if the offense trots out the jumbo package and split you out as an eligible receiver.  Are you ready for the football?

“Hey man, if they want me to, I’m always available.”

Let’s see you cover that, Nnamdi.

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One Response to “Playing Wide Receiver Big Willie Style”

  1. By Carter Rabil on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Congrats Willie! He’s also the first player from North Johnston High in KENLY NC to win a Division I football scholarship as well as play in the NFL.
    Wishing him much success in life, on and off the field…

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