The second part of my interview with A-back Orwin Smith includes his observations of wide receiver Chris Jackson, who left the team in November, and the A-backs, as well as his explanation of how he found a workout device on Youtube.
1. You likely know that Jackson committed to Georgia Tech out of Henry County High School in 2007, but then de-committed and signed with Alabama when Tech fired Chan Gailey and hired Paul Johnson. However, he transferred to Tech after one season at Alabama, redshirted in 2009, but then injured his knee in the offseason and missed 2010 spring practice. He left the team last fall after violating a team rule.
However, Johnson has allowed him to return to the team in the fall if he meets certain conditions, including getting his GPA to 2.0 or above. Jackson has been working out with the team, and Smith has noticed a change.
“You can see him going hard,” Smith said. “Some guys come in with that, ‘I’m the guy’ mentality. I can see him being real humble now. He doesn’t talk the way he used to talk. He doesn’t look the way he used to look.”
Jackson could give the wide receivers group a lift. Jackson is a physical player and a gifted pass catcher whose blocking ability would help the running game. Smith said Jackson has been taking reps with the first string in 7-on-7 drills.
“I’ve looked at what Chris could do in the past,” Smith said. “That would be a great plus out there at receiver.”
2. Smith gave his scouting report on a few of the younger A-backs, redshirt freshmen Deon Hill and Tony Zenon and sophomore B.J. Bostic.
Smith said Zenon is one of the quickest and fastest players on the team. “We need to get the ball in his hands,” he said. Bostic runs well and can maintain top-end speed for long distances, and his blocking has gotten considerably better. “We need to get him out on that edge,” he said. Hill is close with Smith, as the two have known each other since childhood. Both attended Central High in Phenix City, Ala. He said he thought Hill was the most improved of the three since the end of the season. “I want to get him out there on the field, let him represent,” Smith said.
Smith said he’s more than happy to share snaps with those three, not to mention three-year starter Roddy Jones and backups Embry Peeples. Marcus Wright and Jamal Paige are also in the mix.
“I feel when guys aren’t playing, they’re not going to have a good attitude,” Smith said. “If we can get the other guys better and step up, it’s better on me and Roddy. It’s a lot of running.”
3. To get ready for that running, Smith has been working out on his own on top of team workouts with a contraption called the Flex nimbo, a speed and strength training aid. It’s a vest with rubber-band attachments to the hands and legs. The bands provide resistance, so any motion is made against tension. You can learn more here.
“It’s just a suit that makes you fight every movement of the body,” Smith said.
He uses it to run stairs, do push-ups and sit-ups and agility drills. It doesn’t look like a lot of fun.
“I just want my body to be quicker at doing what I want to do,” Smith said. “Right now, I can run, I can catch. I’m a little quick, but I want to do all those things even faster. I can be even more of a threat.”
Smith averaged 9.7 yards per carry last season, with four of his 53 carries going for touchdowns. The best part is how he found it. He went to Youtube and typed in “how to get faster.” Some Flex nimbo videos came up and he investigated further.
“I saw a lot of videos of guys boxing and UFC fighters talking about it,” he said. “It seemed legit.”
He’s not positive it works, but he thinks so.
“It makes you feel lighter after you do a drill with it on,” he said.