BRR Profile: P.J. Smith

Nebraska senior safety P.J. Smith's time is now. After being a major contributor the last three years, Smith should start in 2012.


P.J. Smith

Position: Safety

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 210 pounds

High School: John Curtis HS(La.)

Year: Senior

2011 Review:

Smith played in 11 games last year and made a start against Wyoming. He had 33 total tackles and one interception on the year.

Smith recorded at least five tackles against Chattanooga, five special team tackles against Fresno State, season-high seven tackles at Wyoming, six against Wisconsin, and five at Minnesota.

Last year Smith was on the verge of getting lots of playing time, and he thinks that experience taught him a valuable lesson.

"Just work hard everyday," said Smith. "That's the bottom line, and let the chips fall where they do. I wanted to start but didn't, so just do what I can to help this team get better, and help all these young guys behind me get better also."

2012 Outlook:

Smith enters his senior year as being one of the most experienced players on the defense. He has contributed at the safety position, his versatility allows him to fit into both spots easy, and has been a main contributor on special teams the past two years.

This fall Smith will be competing for a starting job opposite Daimion Stafford. Although he would like to start, Smith thinks the important thing is helping the team.

"I just go out there and take care of my responsibilities," said Smith. "And if I start I start, and if I don't I don't. I just try to help this team get better."

Whether he starts or not, Nebraska's coaching staff is planning to take advantage of Smith's versatility.

"Yeah a couple different packages," explained Smith when asked if the coaches have special packages for him. "Some small packages they have me in, just whatever they need me to do to help this team get better and help this team win."

How he ended up in Lincoln:

Smith joined Nebraska from Louisiana prep powerhouse John Curtis High School. He was a four-year starter there and helped lead his team to the state championship in his final three seasons.

As a senior Smith recorded 85 tackles, four interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles. He also saw action at the wide receiver position and recorded a pair of touchdown catches. His play earned him first-team all-state honors.

Smith chose Nebraska over other BCS schools like Arkansas, Baylor and Southern Miss.

- Josh Harvey -

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