Torrey Smith

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Torrey Smith
Torrey Smith and 2013 Superbowl trophy.jpg
Smith at the Maryland General Assembly, March 28, 2013.
No. 82     Baltimore Ravens
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-01-26) January 26, 1989 (age 25)
Place of birth: Colonial Beach, Virginia
Height: 6 ft 0 in (183 cm) Weight: 206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Falmouth (VA) Stafford
College: Maryland
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58
Debuted in 2011 for the Baltimore Ravens
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Receptions 164
Receiving Yards 2,824
Receiving TDs 19
Stats at NFL.com

James Torrey Smith (born January 26, 1989) is an American football wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the Ravens in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Smith attended Stafford Senior High School in Stafford County, Virginia, where he played basketball and football. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Maryland, and redshirted his first year. In 2008, he set the Atlantic Coast Conference single-season kickoff return record with 1,089 yards after a 99-yard touchdown in the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl. He ended the year with 24 catches for 336 yards and two touchdowns. In 2009, he surpassed his own mark and re-set the ACC single-season kickoff return record at 1,309 yards. That season, he amassed 2,129 all-purpose yards, the second-highest all-time mark for an ACC player. He earned many All-ACC honors following the season. A panel of scouts considered Smith a potential third- or fourth-round selection for the 2010 NFL Draft, but he decided to return to Maryland for his junior season. In 2010, Smith was named to the Paul Hornung Award and Biletnikoff Award watchlists before the season. That season, he set the ACC career kickoff return record. Smith chose to forgo his senior season to enter the 2011 NFL Draft, where the Baltimore Ravens selected him in the second round with the 58th overall pick.

Early life[edit]

Smith was born on January 26, 1989 and grew up with his mother Monica Jenkins in Colonial Beach, Virginia and Fredericksburg, Virginia. The oldest of seven children, Smith helped his single mother, who attended Rappahannock Community College in the day and worked at night, with household chores and earned honor roll grades in school.[1] Smith attended Colonial Beach Elementary School, where his physical education teacher, Steve Swope, recognized his athletic ability and allowed Smith to attend his camps free of charge.[1] Smith noted, "Coach Swope knew me before I knew myself ... Every kid who's athletic in that town goes through Coach Swope."[1] Smith went on to Stafford Senior High School, where he played basketball as a guard,[2] and football at several different positions.[3] He enjoys fishing as a pastime.[3]

Smith played on the Stafford Indians football team as a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback, kickoff returner, and punt returner.[3] In Stafford's 2004 game against King George, Smith opened with a 54-yard kickoff return, played quarterback, and scored on a 63-yard punt return. His coach, Roger Pierce, said, "Torrey can do those type of things for us. We expect him to do those things."[4] During his senior year in 2006, Smith had 155 carries for 815 yards and 12 touchdowns, completed nine of 25 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns, and made three receptions for 81 yards. Over the course of his interscholastic career, Smith returned six kickoffs for touchdowns. He earned all-state kick returner honors as a sophomore, all-district honors as a junior, and honorable mention All-Northwest Region quarterback honors, and all-district and all-area honors as a senior.[3]

As a college prospect, Rivals.com ranked him 30th nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks, Scouts, Inc. ranked him 33rd nationally among wide receivers, and SuperPrep placed him on its Virginia 33.[3] ESPN assessed him as a "do-it-all prospect" and projected him as a wide receiver because of his size and speed.[5] Smith was recruited by Maryland, Penn State, and Virginia Tech.[3] He was shown interest by Virginia, but did not receive a scholarship offer.[1] The Virginia staff, which questioned whether he had recovered his speed after a basketball injury during his junior year, asked Smith to run a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at a Nike combine at Clemson University, which he did.[1] The Virginia staff then asked him to repeat the feat at the University of Virginia campus, but Maryland offered a scholarship, which Smith accepted.[1] He later said, "I kind of hold a grudge against U.Va. a little bit. I'm not afraid to say it. I kind of want to show them that they questioned my speed and whether I was going to get it back. I want to show them that I'm all healed up."[1] Virginia head coach Al Groh said of the Fredericksburg native before the 2009 game against Maryland, "Clearly if we forsaw [sic] him being the type of player that he is now, he would be returning kicks for Virginia. So we are not above admitting that there is a player that certainly has turned out to be superior to what many people thought, including ourselves. He's—regardless of what the circumstances were in the past—he is a superior college football player."[6]

College career[edit]

2007 season[edit]

Smith sat out the 2007 season at Maryland on redshirt status, and was voted the scout team player of the year. He was named the scout team player of the week before the Florida State game.[3] In summer camp, Smith adjusted from playing quarterback to wide receiver, a position he had limited experience with in high school. Teammate Darrius Heyward-Bey said, "He's like a sponge. He's taking it all in, asking a lot of questions—and that's good for a receiver."[7] In December, he practiced with the first team after Isaiah Williams suffered an injury.[8]

2008 season[edit]

Torrey Smith returns a kick during the Terps' 51-24 victory over Eastern Michigan, September 20, 2008.

Smith drew praise from the Maryland coaching staff during summer workouts before the 2008 season,[9] and The Washington Times predicted Smith, alongside receiver Ronnie Tyler, would earn significant playing time.[10] He played in all 13 games and started in the last six of the season. He also saw action on special teams as a kickoff returner. Smith recorded 24 receptions for 336 yards and two touchdowns.[11] In its midseason report, The Baltimore Sun credited Smith for often giving an inconsistent Maryland team good field position with his long kick returns.[12]

Against Middle Tennessee, Smith returned four kicks for 86 yards.[3] He made his first career reception for three yards the following week against 23rd-ranked California.[3] Against Eastern Michigan, Smith recorded two receptions for 58 yards and four kickoffs for 126 yards.[13] Smith tallied his first collegiate touchdown on a third-quarter reception from quarterback Chris Turner in the 20–17 comeback at 20th-ranked Clemson.[14] He recorded 144 return yards against Virginia.[3]

In the 26–0 victory over 21st-ranked Wake Forest, Smith returned the opening kick 34 yards,[15] and caught two passes for eight yards.[16] Smith made his career first start against NC State and recorded four kickoff returns for 85 yards, which set the school single-season kickoff return yards record for a freshman, surpassing the 566-yard mark set by Da'Rel Scott in 2007.[3] Smith blocked a punt against Virginia Tech,[17] and led the team with 163 all-purpose yards including 62 receiving yards.[3] He recorded one reception for 12 yards against 16th-ranked North Carolina.[16]

In the latter part of the season, Smith increased his role and was elevated over Isaiah Williams as the number-two receiver across from Darrius Heyward-Bey. Head coach Ralph Friedgen explained that his presence would alleviate the coverage on Heyward-Bey and praised Smith's blocking ability in the running game.[18] Against Florida State, Smith broke the school record for single-season kickoff return yards, previously held by cornerback Josh Wilson.[19] He had 119 all-purpose yards,[3] including one 13-yard reception.[16] Smith posted his season-best performance against 21st-ranked Boston College with 245 all-purpose yards and eight receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.[3]

In the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl he returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against Nevada, which broke the bowl's previous return record of 98 yards. It was also the first time a Maryland player returned a kickoff for a touchdown in a bowl game. At the end of the season, Smith had returned 42 kickoffs for 1,089 yards, which set a new Atlantic Coast Conference single-season record.[20] Smith led the team with 1,425 all-purpose yards, which put him ahead of starting running back Da'Rel Scott who compiled 1,304 yards.[11]

Smith lines up against Boston College in 2009.

2009 season[edit]

Before the 2009 season, Smith reportedly struggled in Maryland's summer camp, dividing his time between practice and online courses at night.[21] Towards the end of camp, head coach Ralph Friedgen noted an improvement in his performance, which reestablished Smith as the team's top receiver alongside Adrian Cannon.[21]

During the season, Smith saw action in all twelve games, including ten as a starter, and he amassed 61 receptions for 824 receiving yards and five touchdowns, 51 kickoff returns for 1,309 yards and two touchdowns, and eleven rushing attempts for 59 yards and one touchdown.[22] His kickoff return yardage surpassed the ACC single-season record that he had set the previous year.[22] Smith finished the season ranked sixth in the nation in all-purpose yards.[23] He was one of two players, alongside Donald Buckram of UTEP, to record more than 260 all-purpose yards in three games.[3] Smith led the team in receptions, receiving yards and return yards.[22] Smith's 2,192 all-purpose yards were the second-most ever recorded by an ACC player behind only C. J. Spiller of Clemson.[24]

In the season opener at 12th-ranked California, he caught one pass for 28 yards and made two rushing attempts for 16 yards.[16] Against Division I FCS James Madison, Smith caught eight passes for 80 yards, rushed twice for 22 yards and a touchdown,[16] and returned four kickoffs 127 yards, including one 81-yard touchdown return.[25] Despite the strong statistical performance, head coach Ralph Friedgen said, "To be honest with you, I was kind of expecting more out of Torrey. I've got a lot of faith in him. I'm not surprised at all about the return yards. But I think if you asked Torrey, he has high expectations for himself, too."[25] Smith agreed with the criticism, and acknowledged that in his second season as a wide receiver, he had room for improvement.[25] He recorded five catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the Middle Tennessee game, and caught four passes for 112 yards against Rutgers.[16] He led the team with three receptions for 64 yards and a 29-yard touchdown against Clemson,[3] and became the first player in the nation to reach 1,000 all-purpose yards on the season.[26] Against Wake Forest, Smith returned six kickoffs 194 yards and caught a career-high ten passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. For his performance, he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Specialist of the Week.[27] Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said, "This kid is probably a better receiver [than Darrius Heyward-Bey]. He catches the ball better, he's got great foot speed. He can hurt you running the ball or catching it. Everywhere you look, he's a problem."[1]

Coach Friedgen named Smith the special teams captain for the Virginia game.[28] During the game, Virginia chose to kick short to keep the ball away from Smith on kickoffs, and quarterback Chris Turner did not target him until the fourth quarter. He finished with three receptions for 34 yards and no returns.[29] He recorded two receptions for 13 yards at Duke.[16] At NC State, he caught eight passes for 64 yards and returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. During the game, he surpassed the ACC single-season kickoff return yards record which he had set the previous season.[3] He had four receptions for 55 yards against 21st-ranked Virginia Tech, seven receptions for 71 yards against Florida State, and six receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown against Boston College.[16]

Smith advances the ball against Boston College

After the season, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association named Smith to the All-ACC second team as both a wide receiver and return specialist.[30] Phil Steele's and The Sporting News named him to their All-ACC first teams as a wide receiver.[3] Phil Steele's and Rivals.com named him to their All-ACC second teams as a kick returner.[3] Smith submitted his name to a panel of NFL scouts after the season, which evaluated him as a third- or fourth-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.[24]

2010 season[edit]

Smith returned to Maryland for the 2010 season to increase his NFL draft stock, complete his criminology and criminal justice degree in December, and improve the team's record from a 2–10 finish the year prior.[24] He said, "I'll have the same talk with the same people [about the draft]. But my focus is to change what happened last year."[24] Prior to the start of the season, the coaching staff planned to increase Smith's efficiency by playing him fewer snaps in an attempt to keep him fresh.[23] In the Red–White spring game, Smith accounted for 90 of starting quarterback Jamarr Robinson's 146 passing yards,[31] including a "fingertip catch in the end zone" on the opening drive,[32] and the two roommates were reported to have developed a good rapport.[33] Before the season, Smith was named to the watchlists for the Paul Hornung Award and Biletnikoff Award.[34]

Maryland started the 2010 season against Navy, which intentionally kicked away from the elusive return man.[35] In the home opener against Morgan State, Smith scored on a 24-yard pass from backup quarterback Danny O'Brien and a five-yard pass from starter Jamarr Robinson.[36] Smith scored two touchdowns of 60 and 80 yards in Maryland's failed comeback attempt at 21st-ranked West Virginia, 31–17.[37] After the West Virginia game, Sports Illustrated considered Smith a rising prospect for the 2011 NFL Draft and described him as "a true vertical threat who has NFL size and home-run hitting speed."[38] Redshirt freshman Danny O'Brien secured the starting quarterback position after Jamarr Robinson suffered a shoulder injury, and the rookie soon "found great chemistry" with Smith.[39] Against Florida International, Smith made eight receptions for 159 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown catch and a 32-yard catch that set up another score.[40] He limped off of the field after his touchdown catch, but later said, "I was fine. I was Jim Brown-ing."[41] The following week, he was limited in practice,[42] but started against Duke and caught a 44-yard reception during a first-half scoring drive.[43] However, the lingering ankle ailment continued to bother Smith, and head coach Ralph Friedgen considered using punt returner Tony Logan for kickoff returns until he fully healed.[44] Smith had four receptions for 55 yards in the 31–7 loss to Clemson, but was hindered by his sore ankle which kept him out of practice.[45] Smith said, "I don't like sitting out [practices]. I feel like I'm leaving my teammates out to dry. I didn't battle with them all week."[45] After the game, Friedgen said in the future he would sit players who could not practice by the Thursday before a game.[46]

Against Boston College, running back Da'Rel Scott handled some of the kickoff return duties, but Smith returned two for 38 yards.[47] He also caught eight passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.[48] The following week, Maryland clinched bowl eligibility with a 62–14 rout of Wake Forest.[49] Regarding the turnaround from the previous season's 2–10 record, Smith said, "We expected to be in this position. No one else expected it," but added "No one is going to respect us [yet] because we have not beaten any top dogs."[49] In the game, Smith had five catches for 66 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown reception.[50] Before the game against Miami, the coaching staff reported Smith's ankle had improved and he was "as healthy as he has been in a while."[51] Against Miami, he had three receptions for 35 yards.[52] Smith also compiled 46 yards on two kickoff returns to break the ACC career kickoff return yards record with 2,724 yards,[53] which surpassed the previous mark of 2,688 yards held by Brandon Tate of North Carolina.[54] At Virginia, Smith took advantage of the Cavaliers' man-to-man coverage and had seven receptions for 157 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown.[55] On a 62-yard catch, he said he was tackled on the seven-yard line only because he was exhausted.[55] Quarterback Danny O'Brien expressed his readiness to throw deep passes to Smith in single coverage, "If it's even, I put it up."[55] Maryland entered the game against 25th-ranked Florida State in contention for the ACC Atlantic Division championship. Smith recorded a phone message and video appealing to fans in a bid to improve home attendance, which had been lackluster throughout the season.[56] The game was attended by 48,115 spectators, which surpassed the athletic department's projections.[56] Maryland lost, 30–16, and Smith had seven receptions for 69 yards.[57]

Smith delivered a record-setting performance against 23rd-ranked North Carolina State,[58] in which he collected a career-high 14 receptions for 224 yards and four touchdowns.[59] Smith scored on catches of 10, 11, 12, and 71 yards,[59] and his performance helped Maryland win, 38–31, despite amassing negative rushing yards.[60] During the game, Smith set the school record for career all-purpose yardage, which surpassed Lamont Jordan's previous mark of 4,960 yards.[59] His four touchdown receptions in a single game also set a school record, which surpassed the previous mark of three shared by Vernon Davis, Guilian Gary, Jermaine Lewis, and James Milling.[61] Smith's season tally of twelve touchdowns also set a school record, which surpassed the mark of nine shared by Jermaine Lewis and Marcus Badgett.[61] He also joined Marcus Badgett as just the second Maryland receiver to accumulate over 1,000 yards in a single season.[61][62] For his performance, the Atlantic Coast Conference named him the Offensive Back of the Week.[63]

Upon the conclusion of the regular season, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association named Smith to the All-ACC first team as a wide receiver.[64] In the 2010 Military Bowl against East Carolina, Smith had two catches for ten yards.[65] Shortly after the game, he declared himself available for the 2011 NFL Draft in order to financially support his family.[66] ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said, while he believed Smith could have potentially reached first-round status with another year, he would likely be selected in the second or third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.[67]

Statistics[edit]

 Maryland Receiving Returning Rushing
Season GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lg TD KRs Yds Avg Lg TD Att Yds Avg Lg TD
2008 13 6 24 336 14.0 44 2 42 1,089 25.9 99 1 1 0 0 0 0
2009 12 10 61 824 13.5 64 5 51 1,309 25.7 85 2 11 59 5.4 14 1
2010 13 12 67 1,055 15.7 80 12 30 585 19.5 33 0 9 7 0.8 9 0
Total 38 28 152 2,215 14.6 80 19 123 2,983 24.3 99 3 21 66 3.1 14 1

Professional career[edit]

2011 NFL Combine[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1 in 204 lb 4.36 s 1.51 s 2.50 s 4.13 s 6.72 s 42 in 10 ft 6 in 19 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

2011 season[edit]

Smith (82) at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2012. Also pictured are LaQuan Williams (15) and Anquan Boldin (81).

The Baltimore Ravens selected Smith with the 58th overall pick in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Smith, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the combine, was described as a deep threat that the team had missed the previous season.[68]

After facing criticism for a lack of production in the first two weeks,[69][70] Smith turned in a record-setting performance against the St. Louis Rams in Week 3. In the first quarter, he scored on each of his first three career receptions with 74-, 41-, and 18-yard touchdowns. The 74-yard score was the longest completion of quarterback Joe Flacco's career. He became the first NFL rookie, and only the twelfth player, to amass three touchdown receptions in a single quarter.[70] Smith finished the game with five receptions for 152 yards in the 37–7 victory.[71] Smith caught the game winning touchdown against the Steelers on November 6, 2011. On November 20, 2011, Smith once again showed his knack for making plays in the Ravens' 31-24 win over division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals. In his second 150 yard receiving performance of the season, Torrey made 6 receptions for 165 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown from Joe Flacco. He finished the season with 50 receptions, 841 receiving yards and a team leading (and Ravens rookie record) 7 receiving touchdowns.

2012 season[edit]

Despite losing his brother in a tragic motorcycle accident the morning before the Week 3 game against the New England Patriots, Smith had a great second season as a Raven. On January 12, 2013, in the Division Playoff Round against the Denver Broncos, Smith caught both a 59-yard pass and a 32-yard pass for touchdowns in a 38-35 double overtime win. The Ravens would go on to win Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers 34-31, earning Smith his first Super Bowl ring. Smith finished the season with 8 touchdown receptions.

2013 season[edit]

Smith started the 2013 season as the Ravens #1 receiver. 6 weeks into the season he was one of the NFL's leaders in receptions and receiving yards. Smith reached the 1,000 yard receiving season mark for the first time in his career after Week 15 into the season.[72] Smith was also the first Raven-drafted receiver to eclipse 1,000 yards for the team.

Career Statistics[edit]

Season Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2011 Baltimore Ravens 16 14 50 841 16.8 74T 7 4 39 9.8 16 0 1 0
2012 Baltimore Ravens 16 16 49 855 17.4 54 8 3 9 3.0 13 0 0 0
2013 Baltimore Ravens 16 16 65 1,128 17.4 74 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 48 46 164 2,824 17.2 74 19 7 48 6.9 16 0 2 0

Personal life[edit]

On September 23, 2012, Smith lost his 19-year old brother due to a motorcycle accident. Tevin Chris Jones was riding on Route 672 in Westmoreland County in Northeast Virginia when he ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a utility pole, according to the Virginia State Police. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene. He was wearing a helmet, and alcohol was not a factor. The accident is still under investigation.

Smith left the Ravens' hotel on Sunday at 2 a.m. ET, accompanied by a member of the Ravens' security staff, to be with his family. Smith told Ravens coach John Harbaugh that he wanted to play in that night's game against the New England Patriots. Harbaugh told him that it was Smith's call to make.[73] Smith chose to play, and finished the game with 6 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-30 win over the New England Patriots.

In March 2013, Smith worked as an intern for Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, working out of Baltimore.[74] On March 28, 2013 Smith was picked by the Ravens to represent the team at the Maryland State capital in Annapolis. Smith, along with Ravens' president Dick Cass spoke to the assembled members of the Maryland House of Delegates and then the Maryland State Senate.[75]

Smith married his longtime girlfriend, Chanel Williams, on July 11, 2013. On September 30, 2013, Smith tweeted that his wife is pregnant.[76] On April 4, 2014, Chanel gave birth to their first child, a son named Torrey "TJ" Jeremiah.[77]

Charitable Work[edit]

Torrey founded the non-profit Torrey Smith Foundation (TSF), whose mission is to provide support to at-risk youth with physical, educational and financial challenges, and to focus on the enhancement of lives of those that have been affected by domestic violence. The TSF's website states its goals as: Education of youth on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community, Increasing the awareness of financial and hands on support needed in the fight against domestic violence and supporting other organizations conducting charitable activities that align with the TSF mission. For the past 2 years, Torrey has participated in the Madieu Williams Football Camp, a free camp held by the current Redskins safety for kids ages 6–14.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Hot Indians add to Eagles' woes, The Free Lance-Star, January 15, 2005.
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  56. ^ a b Finally, U-Md. finds a crowded house, The Washington Post, November 21, 2010.
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  65. ^ Maryland WR Torrey Smith to turn pro, CSN Washington, December 29, 2010.
  66. ^ Terps win with Military precision, The Washington Post, December 29, 2010.
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  70. ^ a b Game 3: Torrey Smith helps Ravens race past Rams; Rookie wide receiver from Maryland catches three first-quarter touchdown passes in 37-7 win over St. Louis, The Baltimore Sun, September 25, 2011.
  71. ^ Predict Torrey Smith's stat line, The Baltimore Sun, September 26, 2011.
  72. ^ "Torrey Smith Quietly Having a Great Season as a #1 Receiver". 
  73. ^ Paolantonio, Sal. "Torrey Smith expected to play". ESPN. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  74. ^ "Torrey Smith is an intern for Rep. Elijah Cummings". 
  75. ^ "Ravens Bring Lombardi Trophy to Annapolis". 
  76. ^ "Torrey Smith & wife announce they're pregnant". BaltimoreNewsJournal.com. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  77. ^ http://www.baltimoreravens.com/news/article-1/Torrey-Smith-Celebrates-Arrival-Of-Baby-Boy/83d83698-f0d1-418f-bea5-5e415edd70bd

External links[edit]