6PB: Marje' Smith ready to show his worth at defensive end

August 11, 2017
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At 6-foot-6 and 206 pounds, Marje' Smith has heard many times that's he's too small to play defensive end for a Power 5 program. He is the first to admit that he's built more like a jumbo receiver or flex tight end -- and with 4.57-second speed in the 40-yard dash, it would make sense to try him on the offensive side of the ball.

But ask the Marshall High School standout what he is, and he'll proudly announce that he's a defensive end -- and he'll look to prove that this year and during his college career at Baylor. Smith committed to June 12 after a junior season that included 23 tackles and a sack. He also saw time sparingly on offense, and three of his six completions last season went for touchdowns.

Expectations for Smith are sky high as he prepares for a senior year with a new head coach in former SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis -- who also had plenty of success as the head coach at DeSoto. Smith chatted with SicEm365 about the upcoming year and his future with the Bears.


YOUR SENIOR SEASON STARTS SEPT. 1 AGAINST TYLER LEE. THAT'S ONLY THREE WEEKS AWAY. HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
"I'm ready. I feel like I'm going to have a great season. We've got a whole new staff, and we've learned a lot of new plays. I feel like this is going to help us in the season."

SPEAKING OF NEW STAFFS, BAYLOR IS WORKING WITH NEW COACHES. WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON MATT RHULE AND THE STAFF?
"I love all the coaches. They're all chill and laid back -- until practice time. When it's practice time, it's time to get everything done and to do what they're supposed to do. They're like our coaches here at Marshall.

"Baylor is like a second home to me. It's like being down here, times two."



BAYLOR GAVE YOU A CHANCE WHEN NO OTHER POWER 5 SCHOOL DIDN'T. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PULL THE TRIGGER?
"Everything won me over, but I've got to say it was the people there. I can go to most schools, and people won't even show you attention or introduce themselves to you. I went to Baylor, and everybody was outgoing. They'd say hi and tell you about themselves. These are regular students who don't play football.

"[Baylor] also had really nice assistants. There was a lady who worked at the athletic desk. I can't remember her name, but she was a really cool lady -- probably one of the coolest ladies I've ever met."

FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN YOU PLAY, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR GAME?
"All I can really say is you have to watch me play. I don't want to describe it and mislead anybody. Some games, I might have a good game when I'm stopping the run. Some games, I might have a good [pass] rush game. You just have to come to see."

IS THERE A PLAYER OR TWO WHO YOU TRY TO MOLD YOUR GAME AFTER?
"There's nobody I look at all the time. I do look at how some people play their game. I love the Dallas Cowboys, so growing up, I watched DeMarcus Ware. When he went to the [Denver] Broncos, I looked at him and Von Miller and how they pass rushed. I try to look at everybody on the D-line and try to learn a little bit from everyone."

YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO SILENCE SOME OF YOUR CRITICS THIS YEAR. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO?
"Oh, yes, sir. I was always told I was too skinny to play defensive end. I was always fast, but nobody knew how fast i really was. A lot of critics are thinking I'm too small to play defensive end in college, but Baylor gave me a chance. They can put some weight on me, and I can add that to my speed. I feel like I can develop into a great player."


Discussion from...

6PB: Marje' Smith ready to show his worth at defensive end

3ptSpecialist
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BFWorldwide
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Obviously athletic but has no idea of how to play the position. Ball snaps, he stands straight up.......every play. No leverage on any of the "highlights". None. That video was one laughtrack short of being the video on How Not to Play DE. He obviously knows how to elevate to block passes. Playing diagonally with leverage, not. How to use feet.....nope. How to use arms......nope. How to use speed for penetration.....nope. How to jump to challenge passes on 3 and 5 step drops..........he has it aced.
BUBeliever
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Seems like a project to me. A 4.57 40 at 6' 6" is freakishly quick--if Snow and Siravo can teach him proper technique, and he can put on 30 pounds and still maintain his quickness, we may have something in a couple of years.
Pale Rider
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His new coaches at Marshall will help him improve his technique this year.
BUBeliever
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Pale Rider said:

His new coaches at Marshall will help him improve his technique this year.
"We are....Marshall!"
Brian Ethridge
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BFWorldwide said:

Obviously athletic but has no idea of how to play the position. Ball snaps, he stands straight up.......every play. No leverage on any of the "highlights". None. That video was one laughtrack short of being the video on How Not to Play DE. He obviously knows how to elevate to block passes. Playing diagonally with leverage, not. How to use feet.....nope. How to use arms......nope. How to use speed for penetration.....nope. How to jump to challenge passes on 3 and 5 step drops..........he has it aced.


His coach had him play that way. Might be the reason there is a new coach now.
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