The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 3, 2013

Smith: Report ‘untrue in all things’

MORGANTOWN — Most people believe that West Virginia University’s Geno Smith will be the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft, almost certainly in the first round, but there was a scouting report this week in Pro Football Weekly by Nolan Nawrocki that knocked him.

The scouting report by Nawrocki ripped Smith for a questionable football IQ, a marginal work ethic and an inability to inspire teammates — among other negatives.

This is what Nawrocki wrote:

Geno Smith is not a student of the game. Nonchalant field presence — does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire. Mild practice demeanor — no urgency. Not committed or focused — marginal work ethic. Interviewed poorly at the Combine and did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board.

Needed to be coddled in college — cannot handle hard coaching.

A cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks, Smith is a gimmick, overhyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be overdrafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities.


This is not what most people believe about Smith, who on Tuesday told USA Today that the report is “untrue in all things.”

His quarterback coach last year at WVU, Jake Spavital, who has moved on to coach Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziell at Texas A&M, was quoted as saying this is untrue.

Smith heard about the scurrilous report from Spavital.

“I was laughing with Geno about it Monday night and I said, ‘Welcome to the business,’” Spavital told USA Today.

He called him a coach’s “dream come true” and said he was one of the hardest working QBs he has ever seen.

He also described him as “competitive and passionate” with an “awesome” personality.

WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen also doesn’t agree with the assessment of Smith.

“I don’t read it,” Holgorsen said of USA Today, “but it was brought to my attention.”

Holgorsen wouldn’t comment on it but indicated it couldn’t be right or Smith wouldn’t have been invited to the NFL draft.

And his assessment of Smith.

“He’ll be a great pro,” Holgorsen said.

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