BRISTOL - Former Bristol Eastern football standout K.J. Smith is ready for his toughest opponent yet in his CCSU career.
Now a junior with the Blue Devils, Smith will line up against Syracuse in the first week of the regular season.
“It would be a big statement if we won,” he said. “All the guys believe that we can win and going up against a team like this, you need everyone to jell together.
“It’s definitely a big school, but you don’t treat it differently. You go in there and see the stadium, you’ll get immediate feels, but once you put your hand down on the ground and that first whistle blows you’ll be ready.”
After redshirting in his first year on the CCSU campus, Smith had a respectable first season in 2015.
He played in 11 games and recorded 335 receiving yards, though he had no touchdowns. As a tight end, touchdowns aren’t always the most important part.
“Honestly, I’m just helping out the team in any way I can. Most importantly is scoring. Not for me, but the team.”
Smith staying out of the end zone didn’t last long, though.
In his second season last year, Smith again played in 11 games and saw improvement across the board, including scoring three touchdowns.
That scoring number could rise right out of the gate for Smith, as Syracuse has a potent offense that will require the CCSU offense to air it out to keep up.
“We have to be able to have long drives to help our defense out and keep their offense off the field,” Smith said. “I feel that if we do what we’ve been doing we can put up some points.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at , or On Twitter: @OrencoleDan