Miami Hurricanes: Mario Cristobal impressed with WR Brashard Smith

With the spring game coming up on Saturday, Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal highlighted players that he thought stood out on Thursday. One of those players was wide receiver Brashard Smith, per David Lake of

Smith is in line for a bigger role in the 2022 season. As a freshman, he recorded 14 catches for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 14.2 yards per reception last year. At 5-foot-10, 194 pounds, he is not the tallest receiver. Nevertheless, he is explosive.

Smith showed that explosiveness in two games in particular last season. He caught five passes for 91 yards and a touchdown against Central Connecticut State University on September 25. He also caught two passes for 90 yards and a touchdown against Virginia Tech on November 20.

Although he did not put up major numbers last season, Smith showed a little bit of what he could do. One statistic that really stood out was his yards per catch. He averaged 14.2 yards per reception last season, showcasing his ability to spread the field. That number ranked sixth among all Miami Hurricanes pass-catchers.

Head coach Mario Cristobal believes that Smith has been able to progress at a high level. As noted in a report from Lake, the head coach believes that Smith has been able to turn a corner this spring.

Following Thursday’s practice, Cristobal highlighted slot receiver Brashard Smith for his strong play: “A guy that is worth mentioning is Brashard Smith. The last three or four practices he has turned a corner and I told him that when he was going off the field because it was noticeable with the difference he made for the offense. He is a physical, tough guy.”

The importance of Smith’s progress should not be understated. Especially if the outside wide receivers are struggling over a course of the game, a slot receiver is a quarterback’s best friend. Particularly on third and long situations, slot receivers can help move the chains and gain those crucial yards after the catch.

If Smith can continue to work on his physicality and explosiveness, he could be yet another weapon for quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. Last season, we got a small chance to see what Smith could do. This year, he could have a chance to make a big impact.

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