Former Lincoln star Smith lands at WKU

September 04, 2003|JILL ERWIN

Brandon Smith isn't where he thought he'd be, but the former Lincoln County High School standout has landed on his feet.

Smith has transferred from Missouri to defending Division I-AA national champion Western Kentucky and said he is expecting to play Saturday when the Hilltoppers take on West Virginia Tech.

Smith transferred to Western last week after what he termed a "disagreement" with an unnamed assistant coach at Missouri.

"Me and another coach weren't on the same page," Smith said. "It was a disagreement regarding some drills that I was doing. I felt that the way I was doing the drill and the exercise was the same as how other people were doing it, but I was not getting treated the same exact way.

"After the disagreement happened, I was kind of suspended or whatever, I don't know what was really going on, but I felt the need to contact other schools."


Smith said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel would not release him to play for another Division I-A school, so Smith started looking elsewhere.

Missouri assistant coach Cornell Ford gave Smith some schools to consider, including Youngstown State and Western. Smith said after he thought about Western, he was sold.

Smith called Western's football office last Thursday and talked to assistant coach Walter Wells. Wells told Smith he would talk to head coach David Elson and return his call in the morning.

"That next morning I was on my way," Smith said. "They asked me straight up if I'd talked to other schools yet and I said no. When he called me back, he was like, 'Get your transcript, get your clothes and get on down here.'"

Classes at Western started the Monday prior to that, but Smith was enrolled by that Friday afternoon, missing only one week of classes. He's still a bit further behind in football practice, but said he's working on that as well.

Smith will have three years of eligibility remaining. He is trying to catch up by studying the playbook diligently, but he said he's expecting to see quality time at the nickel position, much like the linebacker he played at Missouri, against West Virginia Tech on Saturday.

"They understand that I'm not going to really learn it unless I get practice and reps and stuff at the position," Smith said. "Right now I am going into this week's game at No. 2, but I should see a lot of playing time.

"Next week is a bye week, so I'm looking to catch up on a lot of stuff next week and compete for a starting position for the (Eastern Kentucky) game."

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