Posted: 8:00 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013
Hometown: Chesapeake, Va
High School: Oscar Smith HS
In 2009, Oscar Smith boasted several of the top prospects on Virginia's recruiting board, and they reeled in 2 of them. One was Perry Jones, who was rated as just a 2 star prospect, but finished his UVA career with over 2000 yards rushing, over 1000 yards receiving and even threw 2 TD passes. He was also a 2-time captain. The second is Tim Smith. Smith was a 4 star prospect. He was ranked 31st among WRs by ESPN and 38 by Rivals.
Smith, like Jones, played as a true freshman, and even started 3 games. He had 15 catches for 204 yards and a TD during that season. Then, during his second season, he injured his foot after 2 games. During those 2 games, he had just 3 catches for 28 yards (he also one rush for 16 yards). He was given a medical redshirt though, so it didn't count against his eligibility.
In 2011, Smith had a great season, finishing second on the team in receiving with 565 yards and first in ypc at over 17. He also caught 3 TDs. He had 33 receptions, good for third on the team (behind Kris Burd and his former HS teammate Jones). Last year, Smith was the leading receiver in the first game of the season (6 rec., 96 yards) and the last game of the season (4 rec. 79 yards, TD), but dealt with injuries for much of the season. He finished with just 20 catches (7th on the team) for 405 yards (3rd) and 4 TDs (3rd).
Over the past couple of years, the Hoos have significantly upgraded their team speed. And yet, Smith remains one of the fastest guys on the team. Among the WR, even with speedsters like Darius Jennings and Dominique Terrell, Smith has the most straight line speed. He doesn't have the wiggle that those other guys have, but Smith is the best deep threat on the team. He's a good route runner, and he's become very adept at setting up his routes. He also has the best non-Jake McGee hands on the team.
As s senior on such a young team, Smith is going to be asked to do a lot. He's the best all-around WR, and can handle the entire route tree. He isn't likely to be the guy running WR screens, that will be Jennings and Terrell. He also isn't likely the be the guy running a corner fade in the endzone, that will be either McGee or one of the bigger WR (Adrian Gamble, Canaan Severin, Kyle Dockins). But that isn't to say Smith couldn't handle those jobs. What Smith will be is all over the field, making receptions over the middle for key first downs, catching bombs downfield for long gains and running deep outs to pick up big chunks of yardage.
Coming into college, Smith was also seen as a potential KR and PR guy, a role he excelled at in HS. Obviously, many college athletes excel in the return game in HS, but most of them don't possess Smith's speed. Thus far in his career, Smith has yet to return a kick. The Hoos have had other options at those positions, and Smith's injury history is a concern. But it seems that this year, Smith may get a chance to return a few kicks. He could be very exciting there.
Smith has totaled over 1200 receiving yards in his career thus far. He's also got 9 TDs. Still, it seems like he hasn't yet reached his potential. He's just one big game away from entering the top 15 all time in receiving for the Hoos. A big year from Smith could put him into the top 5 in yards and top 10 in receptions. The only things that will keep him from reaching those heights are his health and the level of WR talent behind him.