Rusty Smith play for FAU.
First off I am a Dolphin fan. Before the Dolphins grew on me I was a general football fan that watched a bunch of different teams. The Titans were one of my favorite back then and I still watch a Titan game when I can. I graduated FAU when Smith lead the owls to there first Bowl game. I didn't have ANY school pride. I just went to school and went home, or work right after class.That is unless I had a lunch date. But, that's a different story. At the end of the year I heard the bowl game was going to be broadcast on National TV. So I said to myself I might as well check it out. What I saw was an mind blowing QB performance. I couldn't believe my eyes. I said to myself who is this guy? He plays for my school???? FAU's football program started in the early part of the decade. (They wanted me 5'8" 140 quick, really fast and elusive. Again, a different story) How did a project/new football program get a QB this good?
In the Bowl game I saw that FAU passed out of a pro style offense.(A plus, because its harder for a spread QB to learn the pro offensive and make it in the NFL) I could see in Smith's eyes that he was reading the coverage and reading it fast. The game actually looked slow for him (a good thing because the NFL is faster). Smith, showed off his gun arm and touch pass. He threw to where his receivers could get it; outside shoulder, over the top, in the chest, by the hip depending where the defender was. An amazing performance. He threw for 336 yards and five touchdowns.
I knew nothing about the guy. I was hoping he was a senior and draft eligible because my phins went 1-15 that season and needed a QB. Unfortunately he wasn't but things ended up working out for Miami.
As a college graduate I was eager to see the guy play. I went to two games in 08. First was against North Texas. FAU's running game was on point that day. But, Rusty was also on point when he had to be. He had some nice passes including a 50 yard pass through the air and, 4TDs 1 INT. Later that year I ended up in Detroit on a spontaneous get away trip. While there I learned that FAU was playing in the motor city bowl against Central Michigan. I went to the game and watch Smith pass for another 300+ yard game and 2 TD's.
In 2009 i didn't get a chance to keep track of him. I heard he had to sit out games because he hurt his non throwing shoulder.
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=273550235 First bowl Video and recap
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfWhUIwTiiY vs North Texas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkpvnBMs9kE vs Troy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJFVJfC6RSI&feature=PlayList&p=5267012A6C6DA63E&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=29 Second bowl.
Now I'm not saying Smith is going to be a starter in the near future. But, it wouldn't surprise me if he moves up the depth chart and pushes for the starting spot in 3 years. You know when you look at a player and say to yourself, "wow! that guy got IT" That's what I saw watching Smith. Big time sleeper.
You may ask why was he drafted so low? He came from a small school with a brand new football program. He's the first drafted player from FAU. I think if he played in a big program he would of been a high pick. I hope Smith does well and proves me right :) if so you will learn to like his name to.