Smith lets his play do the talking
One thing Sage Smth isn’t is a self promoter.
He’s never going to regale you with tales of his outstanding plays. He’d rather you hear it from somebody else.
Through three games, Smith’s play has done a lot of talking. The Carson senior leads the team in interceptions with two and is tied for second in tackles with Logan Krupp with 23 stops, 15 solo and eight assists.
Pretty good numbers to be sure, but Smith low-keys it. In fact, he thinks he should be doing better.
“I’m doing OK,” Smith said. “I don’t get to plays quick enough in my opinion. It’s a consistency thing. I have to go harder in practice and work on my technique. Technique takes time to develop.”
Smith in essence is playing two positions, outside linebacker and safety, a hybrid position in the Carson defensive scheme. Down and distance usually dictates where he lines up. So, when he’s studying film or even going through plays on the practice field, he’s actually have to study more than some of his teammates. It’s a lot to ask.
“I like it (the position),” Smith said. “You’re playing second level and you get to drop back and be a defensive back. I play on the weak side (away from the tight end), I try to force it inside and hope the inside backer makes the play. Most of the teams run to the strong side.”
Carson coach Blair Roman said that Smith is being too hard on himself.
“He’s made a couple of big plays for us this year,” Roman said. “He’s made some big tackles. There was one play on the outside against McQueen where he really stopped the play. It was good to see.
“As a junior, he was hesitant on some stuff. He’s been more instinctive (at outside linebacker) this year. You can always get better; get faster at recognizing plays.”
Smith’s biggest plays were his two interceptions.
In the opener against Hug, Smith returned an interception 28 yards for a score which gave the Senators a 41-6 lead.
“I just dropped back and broke on the ball,” Smith said. “Austin (Shaffer) also broke on the ball. It was going to be an interception no matter what.”
In the 28-3 loss to McQueen, Smith’s second interception of the season led to Carson’s only points of the game.
On fourth-and-17 from the Carson 35, Smith stepped in front of a Tyler Fritsen pass at the Carson 21 and brought it back 59 yards to the McQueen 20. After failing to get a first down, Casey Wolfe booted a 34-yard field goal.
“I thought I was going to get tackled right away,” Smith said. “I thought I was going to get trapped.”
And, if you think Smith gets enough football by playing for Carson, think again. In his spare time, he helps coach his little brother’s Sierra Youth League football team.
“I like coming out and helping,” Smith said. “I help them develop techniques and stuff. I think I may do that for my senior project.”
Does he see coaching in his future?
“If I have kids, I’d want to help out in the community,” he said.