Drew Smith took another step toward a career in the National Football League.
The Guilderland High School graduate participated in a pro day last Wednesday at Fordham University and so impressed the NFL scouts in attendance that he was kept behind to run several drills.
“They had me run some routes, and the scouts were all watching me,” said Smith. “It was actually kind of nerve wracking, but it was a good sign.”
The 6-foot, 2-inch University at Albany senior tailback set himself apart from the pack by running a 4.53-second 40-yard dash.
“I was really kind of nervous about it because they hold that (40-yard dash time) in such high regard,” said Smith. “I know they were impressed with it.”
After completing several agility drills, Smith was one of two players at the pro day asked by the scouts to stay and show what they could do when asked to run some plays. The scouts liked with what they saw.
“Afterwards, a couple of (NFL) scouts came up to me and said they were hoping to keep me under the radar (on draft day) so they could sign me as a free agent,” said Smith.
Smith is hoping be one of a growing number of NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision players to make the jump to the NFL – a list that includes reigning Super Bowl most valuable player Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens.
“These (NFL) coaches, they don’t look at where you’ve played. They look at what you can do,” said Smith.
Smith has accomplished a lot during his four-year playing career at UAlbany. He’s led the Great Danes in rushing each of the last three years and gained more than 1,000 yards in 2011 and 2012. He was also one of the nation’s leaders in touchdowns last season with 19.