Introducing the 2005 Class: Brandon Smith

Posted Jul 7, 2005

A coaching change, especially following a sub-par season, is usually a welcomed move. However, the downside of such a step is that recruiting is usually the area that gets hit the hardest and the earliest. Case in point, Brandon Smith was all set to go the University of Washington, until the school decided to replace Kevin Gilbertson with Ty Willingham. Doubts started to creep in the mind of the wide receiver, and the Huskies’ loss became the Sun Devils’ gain.

Brandon Smith reportedly made a verbal commitment to Washington, in the beginning of January, but he claimed that he did view the events in a different light. “I told them I could see myself here and they took it as a verbal commit,” recalled the PrepStar Magazine postseason all-region selection. “I know that coach Willingham is gonna turn that program around, but I didn’t wanna wait four years for that to happen. I could be graduating by then and be done with my college career.”

The 6-1 185 receiver cited the hot weather, closeness to home, and overall comfort as the primary reasons for settling on Arizona State. However, there was a time that Smith didn’t think he would end up donning the maroon and gold. “ASU first contacted me in the summer after my junior year,” he remarked. “After that, I didn’t hear from them for a long time, and then they got back into the picture late in my senior season. I was surprised because I didn’t know if they would contact me again.”

Arizona State’s efforts paid off. Not only did Smith trip to Tempe, but he did so the same weekend as fellow incoming freshmen wide receiver Chris McGaha and quarterback Derek Shaw. Getting to know the later made a favorable impression. “He’s a pretty cool guy and I guess it made a difference to me because I knew ASU was gonna have a really good quarterback on their hands,” he stated. “ASU likes to throw a lot, and it’s a fun system to play in. I think this is a system that can prepare you for the NFL.”

Smith’s athletic skills are also likely to help him reach the next level. The receiver runs a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, a 10.6 in the 100m, and sports a 36-inch vertical jump. “Speed and awareness down the field are my strong points,” he said as he self assessed his attributes. “But there’s a lot more I can improve on. You have to bring more to the table than speed. You have to have good hands obviously, run good routes. You need to keep a steady head – you’re gonna drop some balls but you still have to be focused.”

As a receiver Smith had a solid showing his senior year collecting 41 receptions for 700 yards and 12 touchdowns. The first-team all-area player, also proved to be a dangerous return man, as he had had two kickoff returns and one punt return for touchdowns. Does he see himself primarily as a special teams player or mainly a wide receiver? “If they wanna play me three ways (offense, defense and special teams) I’ll do it,” he said with a grin. “Whatever gets me playing time. Coaches didn’t talk about me redshirting or not. I hope I don’t have to redshirt, and I know I have to work hard to make that happen.”

In 30 or so days, Brandon Smith will get an opportunity to chart his future as a Sun Devil.

Recruit Profile


Brandon Smith

High School

West (Bakersfield, Calif.)







Date of birth



Bakersfield, Calif.



Favorite TV show

”Dragonball Z”

Favorite movie

”The Last Samurai”

Favorite singer/band


Favorite food

”Chicken Alfredo”

Favorite drink

”Strawberry Lemonade”

Favorite athlete

”Maurice Greene”

Favorite pro team

”Philadelphia Eagles”

Person you most admire

”My mom. She works hard at everything she does and I appreciate that. I hope I have the same work ethic as she does.

First football memory

”I watched a Fresno State game when I was in eighth grade. I really wasn’t interested in football before then, but after watching that game I knew I wanted to play.”

One thing most people don’t know about me

”I’m a sensitive guy.”

Why did you choose ASU?

”I felt this was the best place for me.”

Where do you want to be in ten years?

“In the NFL. If that doesn’t work out, I’d like to be a motivational speaker.”

Related Stories
Introducing the 2005 Class: Thomas Altieri
 -by  Jul 5, 2005
Introducing the 2005 Class: Shawn Lauvao
 -by  Jul 9, 2005
Scouting the Pac 10: Arizona State
 -by  Jul 2, 2005

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