The countdown to kickoff is on. Over the 100 days before Texas takes on Maryland, we’re counting down the 100 best players the Longhorns will face in 2017. This series is all about impressing your friends at pregame tailgates and watch parties, so grab a notepad and buckle up.
Who is he?
So much about Baylor football is in flux, but K.J. Smith continues to be a steady presence. The Bears’ lone first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2016 enters his senior season as the leader of a deep defensive line. The Frisco native led Baylor and was among conference leaders in tackles for loss (11.0) and sacks (7.0).
What should the Longhorns watch for?
Primarily a pass-rushing end, Smith has been known to slide inside at times. That won’t be the case this season, at least according to what new Bears coach Matt Rhule told media this spring. Rhule said he wants to give Smith the best opportunity to play in the NFL, and that means getting as many reps as possible outside.
The Longhorns limited Smith to only four tackles (none for loss) last year in Austin. He didn’t record a stop in 2015, and had three tackles including one for loss as a freshman playing at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
Catch up on the series
No. 55: Michael Pittman Jr.
No. 54: Hakeem Adeniji
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