Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith is widely regarded as one of the best ballcarriers to ever play the game.
Based on recent comments from Stanford coach David Shaw, Smith’s son is well on his way toward greatness as well.
E.J. Smith, a current running back at Stanford, has played sparingly in his first two seasons with the Cardinal, but Shaw seems confident that in the next few years, the 6'0", 213-pound junior will be among the best ballcarriers in college football. In a recent appearance on Pro Football Focus’s Twitter Spaces, the Cardinal coach called Smith the “total package.”
“Over the next two years, he’ll be one of the best backs in America,” Shaw added.
Smith was a four-star recruit out of high school and has made minor contributions to the Stanford offense in his first two years with the program. Last fall, he took on his biggest role with the team thus far, taking 26 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown, while adding 15 catches for 74 yards.
However, Shaw seems to have big plans for the son of the former NFL MVP. Earlier this offseason, he explained Smith was poised for his best year yet in 2022.
“E.J.’s ready,” Shaw said on the Pac-12 Network broadcast. “He’s ready to be the guy. He’s a complete running back. He’s got receiver skills that we saw last year. He’s got return skills. This guy’s an NFL back. He’s a pass protector. So anything he can do, he can do at a high level. So this is going to be a breakout year for him as well.”
Stanford has had a penchant for developing star running backs in recent years, with Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love among the most notable players to come out of the school’s backfield. When combined with his father’s prowess, it’s possible that E.J. Smith could be next in line to burst on the scene for the Cardinal.
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