Torrey Smith - College Career - 2008 Season

2008 Season

Smith drew praise from the Maryland coaching staff during summer workouts before the 2008 season, and The Washington Times predicted Smith, alongside receiver Ronnie Tyler, would earn significant playing time. 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. In its midseason report, The Baltimore Sun credited Smith for often giving an inconsistent Maryland team good field position with his long kick returns.

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

In the 26–0 victory over 21st-ranked Wake Forest, Smith returned the opening kick 34 yards, and caught two passes for eight yards. 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. Smith blocked a punt against Virginia Tech, and led the team with 163 all-purpose yards including 62 receiving yards. He recorded one reception for 12 yards against 16th-ranked North Carolina.

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. Against Florida State, Smith broke the school record for single-season kickoff return yards, previously held by cornerback Josh Wilson. He had 119 all-purpose yards, including one 13-yard reception. 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.

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. 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.

Read more about this topic:  Torrey Smith, College Career

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