It has been a rough journey so far for Florida State running back Antone Smith
Coming out of high school, it did not seem like there were going to be any struggles for the star running back. He led Pahokee High School to the state football title and rushed for an amazing 276 yards and three touchdowns in the championship game. He topped off the season with an outstanding 2814 yards and 44 touchdowns.
He was ranked as the top running back recruit in the country and ranked as the No. 25 player overall by Rivals.com. He was a Parade All-American, the Palm Beach County Player of the Year, and the Old Spice National Player of the Year. He was also voted the MVP of the Nike Camp and while there, he recorded a staggering 4.25 40-yard dash. He played in the CalFlorida Bowl and was named the offensive MVP. During his high school career, he rushed for over 6,000 yards.
Smith was heavily recruited by a list of colleges and seemed destined to be the next great running back to attend Miami University. But he surprised everyone, including his mother, when he committed to Florida State University.
Fast forward a few months. It is Smith's freshman season at FSU. He is third string, but he has had some great runs including a 74-yard scamper in which he embarrassed most of the Duke football team. It looks like he will be huge in the next few years.
Fast forward a year to the 2006 season. Smith is playing well, but he dislocates his elbow midway through the season.
Fast forward another year to the 2007 season. Smith is doing fine, but he looks worse than he did when he was a freshman. When is he going to live up to his five-star potential?
Now we are finally to the present season. Smith is having a breakout year. He is practically carrying the offense on his shoulders. In his last three games, Smith has rushed for 335 yards with eight touchdowns. This is an awfully impressive stat, considering Smith only totaled three touchdowns all of last year.
He has faced some pretty tough defenses, including Miami, who boasted the No. 7 rush defense at the time. The pressure did not get to Smith, however. He had four rushing touchdowns, one of which was a crucial fourth quarter, 20-yard touchdown.
Let's not dwell in the past though. This week, Smith has to deal with another monster by the name of Virginia Tech. The Hokies defensive tackles John Graves and Cordarrow Thompson will play a big factor in the attempt to stop Smith and the FSU running game. The Seminole offense has been clicking lately, so the pressure is heaped on the defensive line of Virginia Tech. Smith should be able to keep his momentum going this week.
The Seminole Nation is pleased with Smith's contribution this season, despite the past frustration. Now, they just need him to rush them to one more win, and then one more win, until the ACC title is in reach.
It all depends on Antone Smith's feet. So, make your momma proud Antone, and show her why you chose Florida State.