Tech’s Orwin Smith seeks pinnacle

Orwin Smith’s personal goal for the season is flavored with boldness and hints of audacity.

The Georgia Tech A-back wants to lead the country in all-purpose yardage, which would require him to assemble one of the greatest seasons in school history. Smith, whose chiseled 6-foot-0, 205-pound frame contains ample boldness, is game.

“I thought all-purpose was something that was unique,” he said. “(I) haven’t really heard anyone set it as a goal before, so that’s kind of how it came.”

Whether he achieves it or not, Smith has placed himself in position to make an earnest attempt. He is running without problems after surgery to repair turf toe. He has an experienced offensive line to open alleys and a familiar quarterback to deliver the ball, both on option pitches and in the passing game. His likely A-back partner is a sound blocker.

Smith said he wanted a goal “that’s going to take hard work (but) I feel like I can still reach it at the same time.”

Tech’s most dynamic ball carrier, Smith is reaching into the statistical stratosphere. Recent NCAA all-purpose yardage kings have averaged around 200 yards per game. Last season, Smith led the Yellow Jackets with 106.1 yards, split up among rushing (51.2), receiving (25.5) and kickoff return (29.3). Eddie Lee Ivery, Tech’s single-season record holder for all-purpose yardage, averaged 170.8 yards per game in 1978.

“I have no problem with him setting big goals, as long as he understands that, with that comes responsibility, and that’s what I expect from him every day,” A-backs coach Lamar Owens said.

Tech’s offense complicates Smith’s pursuit. While Smith’s speed and explosiveness make him a logical candidate to rack up carries, Tech’s option-based spread offense can’t be effective by repeatedly giving him the ball. A defense determined to keep Smith from receiving option pitches can do so by sending defenders at him. And, while the offense includes plays that can get him the ball on direct handoffs and passes, an overemphasis on getting the ball in Smith’s hands could unbalance the offense.

Finding Smith’s maximum utility would seem to require a delicate touch.

As coach Paul Johnson is fond of saying to those who gape at Smith’s career 9.7 yards-per-carry average and call for him to get the ball more, “The guy’s not going to average 10 yards a carry if you hand him the ball 40 times, I promise you. We’ve got to find ways to utilize him in the system.”

Smith’s productivity will also depend upon how much B-back David Sims can draw heat, how accurately quarterback Tevin Washington can deliver him the ball, how well A-backs like Robbie Godhigh and Deon Hill and the wide receivers can block downfield.

“It’s going to take an entire team effort for us to be successful offensively for him to even have a shot at that,” Owens said.

Smith is not obsessed by the goal. As defenses will devote attention to him, Smith figures he can be an excellent decoy. In fall camp, he focused on improving his blocking – a weakness. But it isn’t for Smith’s knack for baiting defenses that Smith is featured on billboards around metro Atlanta, an honor that led Sims to campaign for a change Smith’s nickname from “Big O” to “Billboard O.” Within Tech’s pursuit of an ACC title, Smith wants to deliver.

Smith trained furiously over the summer, adding pool workouts, yoga and exercise with resistance bands to the daily team training sessions. (Parts of it can be seen on a Youtube video Smith made with former Jacket Elris Anyaibe, titled “How Bad Do You Want It?”)

The only player in Tech history in gain 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game (Kansas last season) and the holder of the highest career yards-per-carry average (9.7) of any ACC player with 1,000 rushing yards won’t get the ball 40 times a game. But he’ll get it enough.

“Last year, I didn’t end like I started, so I’m really eager to start off like last year again and just keep it going this year,” he said. “It’s my last year, and I want to make it my best.”

In case you missed it:

T.J. Barnes kicking it into gear

Wednesday’s practice notes: Days to play ’somewhere’ for Tech against Hokies

Smith goes for 265 yards against Kansas

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

143 comments Add your comment

Dawgs

August 23rd, 2012
7:38 pm

Yall better worry about finding a way to beat VT or its another down hill 7-6 season that will await you Tech bunch…

BTW First..

billyho55

August 23rd, 2012
7:40 pm

ORWIN IS IN FOR A HUGE SEASON! ON ANOTHER NOTE THOUGH, KEN, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN HEARING ABOUT MR. KALLON? WE REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THE HARD WORK AND UPDATES!!

Dawgs

August 23rd, 2012
7:40 pm

Never understood why the talk of UVA and Dah U! when VT always seems to hand you your head on a silver plater…..

Yall folk need to be discussing beating VT some kind of way…

billyho55

August 23rd, 2012
7:41 pm

DARN, I WASN’T FIRST! MY PARENTS WOULD OF BEEN SOOO PROUD!!

Dawgs

August 23rd, 2012
7:43 pm

Kallon???? You mean Frances???May not see him for a VERY long time Sr year maybe?…. CPJ does NOT know how to recruit DL men…Gotta hand it to him his OL is Crucial wish ours was as good as yalls. But we all know you win games on D!!

wes

August 23rd, 2012
7:56 pm

Sound advice “Dawgs”. Are you a rocket surgeon?

Ol'JacketFan

August 23rd, 2012
8:05 pm

I love O.Smith’s ability and if he gets 15-18 touches a games he is capable of putting up some big numbers! His vision and size are plusses along with his ability to make people miss allow him to be capable to taking it to the house every time he touches the ball. Big plays come with a total team effort and I look forward to seeing a total team effort each time out!

Go Jackets!

Tokyo jacket

August 23rd, 2012
8:12 pm

Dawgs, I’m happy to talk about VT. I’ll be making the drive there in 11 days. I think their 4 new offensive linemen, new RB, and two new WRs that are replacing four 5th year seniors on the line, the school’s all time top 2 WRs, and the ACC player of the year will have some serious growing up to do. I was up in Blacksburg when Calvin Johnson ran roughshod all over VT. It’s going to happen again. VT’s strength is their fast but small defense. When that defense is on the field for 18 minutes in the first half because their O goes three and out so much, they won’t be able to catch up to the likes of Smith, Simms, Snoddy and Days in the second half. Look for GT to be up 10-3 at the half with a final score of 31-17, GT. GT closes the game with an 8-minute plus death march. If this team is 2-0, there’s no reason they shouldn’t go 5-0 heading into Clemson.

Tokyo jacket

August 23rd, 2012
8:13 pm

This offensive line can buy us time and space against VT’s fast d-line. A half second is the difference between a throw away or interception and a 25 yard gain in this offense. GT is going to surprise a lot of people this year, and we’re going to start in prime time on Monday night!

Dawg48

August 23rd, 2012
8:20 pm

Dawgs, get a life! Do you not have anything better to do with your life than troll the GT blog?

BLT

August 23rd, 2012
8:27 pm

Dawgs, does not understand the headlines to Ken’s write ups. Bless his heart. FYI- this one is primarily about Orwin Smith. For future reference read the “Headline” to the story first, then read the article. I promise it will help you. Then you can post just about anything you want. OR, like most you can skip all that and start trashing Tech without having a clue what the story is about. Thanks for participating.

chas_jacket

August 23rd, 2012
8:31 pm

love your optimism Tokyo Jacket. Hope the game and early season pans out as you see it.

billyho55 – I am also curious about Sir Francis – I thought he would be the one foregoing a redshirt – but it seems like Gotsis is the one who may play this year. This is actually good news as Kallon will be a great one regardless. Evidently Gotsis was impressive during camp – can’t wait to see him on the field.

BLT

August 23rd, 2012
8:33 pm

wes, he’s a rocket surgeon or a tank paratrooper.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 23rd, 2012
8:34 pm

I can’t make the call on the VT game, I’m still in the anything can happen mode. Some ways I feel Tech is in good shape then other times I’m not sure, About Va Tech, lots of respect for them, good team thatcould be real good team

BigTimeTECHFan

August 23rd, 2012
8:35 pm

I think Smith will be NFL back

OldSchoolTechFanatic

August 23rd, 2012
8:44 pm

Orwin can get the job done, he may not be the best back GT has ever had but he is Awesome with a capital A baby !!!

ToeMeetsLeather

August 23rd, 2012
9:25 pm

Hopefully “Billboard-O” will have as many receiving yards as he does rushing. Numerous 15-20 yard quick hitters would add up in a hurry. Due to the risk of injury, I’m not sure I want to see Orwin returning punts and kick-offs though. 9/3!

Long Beach Jacket

August 23rd, 2012
9:27 pm

Orwin Smith is a really good player and, no doubt, his injury diminished his performance greatly after a fantastic start last year. I look for him to have a fantastic season and whatever his final yardage total (all categories) I expect him to be a major playmaker in EVERY contest. If other teams overcompensate to defend against him, it will pay dividends elsewhere in the offensive attack for the Jackets. Good luck Orwin! Go Jackets…

Add note – I suspect he’ll generate some NFL inerest due to his versatility. Run, return kicks etc.
I’m surely no Mel Kiper/Todd McShay but I’d project him as a possible late round pick (say 5th to 7th round) at this point with a possibility to move up on some draft boards if he has a monster year.

www

August 23rd, 2012
9:28 pm

orwin smith may not lead the nation in all purpose yardage but he can rank in the top 10, imo.

more importantly, he can be a huge part of a great season for tech in 2012.

and i agree with bigtimetechfan, i think orwin can play in the league.

dawghater1

August 23rd, 2012
9:30 pm

dawgs – you lick gnat butter

Ken Sugiura

August 23rd, 2012
9:47 pm

billyho55 – it appears he’ll redshirt.
Dawgs – if you’re just here to talk trash, i’ll ask you to stop posting. thanks.

gt40pinhd

August 23rd, 2012
9:59 pm

the most important part of this article is that smith wants to finish the
season as well as he starts. a great goal, i wish him luck. he will need
to focus and have help.

fuzzybee78

August 23rd, 2012
10:33 pm

I really appreciate Orwin setting a real measurable goal, even a stretch. So many guys give you the standard “help the team win” and thats OK but who doesnt and you’re guaranteed not to fail.

I guarantee you will see measurable goals when you “go pro in something other than athletics” .

Dawgs

August 23rd, 2012
11:06 pm

Aint no troll just statin fact here buds… Can’t wait till thanksgiving this year LOL..

1 4 GT

August 23rd, 2012
11:19 pm

Yeah Dawgs—-your version of the facts. It’s entirely possible you won’t enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend as much as you think. BTW, if you’re not a troll, you don’t have to deny it. Real facts speak for themselves. If it waddles like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck & smells like a duck, it MUST be a duck. Selah!!

Island Jacket

August 23rd, 2012
11:31 pm

Dawgs… Don’t you guys at the Athens Correctional Institute have a DIII School to get ready for… Go talk about your cupcake season.

I like the fact that Orwin is making big goals for himself.

OkieDawg

August 23rd, 2012
11:42 pm

“As coach Paul Johnson is fond of saying to those who gape at Smith’s career 9.7 yards-per-carry average and call for him to get the ball more, “The guy’s not going to average 10 yards a carry if you hand him the ball 40 times, I promise you.”

Gotta love him…He is condescending to the GT masses and they don’t even realize it…they just wait for the next invite to a fish fry. INCREDIBLE

1 4 GT

August 23rd, 2012
11:57 pm

I purely hate folks that are constantly negative. Take it somewhere else leg humping, butt sniffing, nad licking troll.

Bama Boy

August 24th, 2012
4:41 am

Hey Dawgs I cant wait till we get ahold of ya’ll,finally let the puppies squeel !
Yep Smith is one of the better backs in the whole SE!

Holey Smoak

August 24th, 2012
5:24 am

The DWAGS better worry about making it through the season with at least a half roster…arrests, drugs, male prostitution….nothing like being a Bullchit DWAG!!!

Wal-Mart Retards

August 24th, 2012
5:28 am

Orwin Smith > uga

hoodoo

August 24th, 2012
8:16 am

you would need about 5 orwins on offense to beat vt.
27-17 vt is the final score.

gt45

August 24th, 2012
8:19 am

I wish you nothing but the best, O. Good luck!

GTfan2012

August 24th, 2012
8:38 am

Dwags,
Oh man, you make this too easy. I am going to type slowly and use small words so you can understand this. I noticed that many of the other UGA trolls on here (like WnE and Headley) have a problem with this as well, so maybe they can learn something. A FACT is defined as something that can be demonstrably proven through observation and experience. SO, saying that GT is going to lose to VT and be 7-6, THAT’S NOT A FACT! That is what is known as your opinion.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

August 24th, 2012
8:38 am

Good luck to O in his quest. I think he may surprise with receiving yards and might just be Tevin’s primary target. Ken – what’s the record for receiving yards for a back? O may have a shot for the all purpose record if Tevin gets him the ball on a more regular basis via the pass.

hoodoo

August 24th, 2012
8:41 am

really 2012? 6/8 sure looks proven. keep dreaming that u have a chance to beat vt when the FACTS show almost a certain loss.

GTfan2012

August 24th, 2012
8:42 am

Also, if you state something as a FACT, such as “the GT DL is undersized” (WnE), but then someone comes a long and shows that actually the GT DL is very similar in size to others (including NFL teams) that run the 3-4, then you are actually either WRONG or and LIAR!

GTfan2012

August 24th, 2012
8:44 am

hoodoo,
Clearly, you are one that needs help with basic statistics. So if I tell you that something happens 25% of the time, then you are CERTAIN its not going to happen. Let me get you a revolver with 8 chambers and two bullets and let you play a little russian roulette.

dawgfan

August 24th, 2012
9:07 am

“Smith’s productivity will also depend upon how much B-back David Sims can draw heat, how accurately quarterback Tevin Washington can deliver him the ball, how well A-backs like Robbie Godhigh and Deon Hill and the wide receivers can block downfield.”

Wow. Sounds like there’s a lot of different moving parts there. As I’ve said before, I question the wisdom of an offense that requires so many different things to fall in to place to be successful (And for the record, I have a similar criticism of Mike Bobo). I think it leads to inconsistency. That’s why Tech might light the world on fire one week against maybe a Duke and then go MIA against a Miami or UGA. In a word, keep it simple stupid.

Thanks.

GTVegas

August 24th, 2012
9:14 am

Hoodoo and others do not base their statements on any facts that can guarantee an outome. They are not even expressing an original opinion. They are merely prognosticating (future telling) about what they expect (or hope) the outcome to be. They might as well be sitting in front of an apple crate in Jackson square (New Orleans) with their deck of cards. At least that’s entertainment.

Under their logic, UGA should never have lost to KY or Vandy and UGA certainly should not have beaten UF, ever. Michigan should never have lost to Ap State. VT should not have lost to East Carolina.

I find it kind of funny that they expect some sort or retort about predicting a 27-17 GT loss when Las Vegas has the line at 7.5. Are we really supposed to find offense in that and treat them as “smart”?

Why they feel the need to post here with nothing more enlightening than to restate Vegas’ position, I cannot begin to understand unless they have some sort of deep seated psycholgical reasons or physical shortcomings they are trying to compensate for.

Baltisraul

August 24th, 2012
9:15 am

Dawgs……..take the day off. You are getting it handed to you this morning! Come back strong tomorrow.

go42

August 24th, 2012
9:16 am

Really looking forward to the opener. Big game. Big Test. I’ve been focused on the Btaves late season run so I’m a little nervous but the game sits squarely on the coaching staff’s shoulders. Will they have the team ready for a HUGE game to start the season? We’ll see.

go42

August 24th, 2012
9:17 am

Really looking forward to the opener. Big game. Big Test. I’ve been focused on the Braves late season run so I’m a little nervous but the game sits squarely on the coaching staff’s shoulders. Will they have the team ready for a HUGE game to start the season? We’ll see.

GTVegas

August 24th, 2012
9:22 am

Dawgfan – How is that statement unique to GT’s offense? Or to any other offense for that matter.

Effective passing opens up the running game in any offense and visa versa. A balanced team will always have more success. I am not saying it has to be 50/50, but there is a range that gos either way depending on that particular offense’s focus.

Every offense relies on blockers, whether they be offensive linemen, receivers or other running backs.

I don’t get your comment, appears either naive or just completely moronic. If you want to talk about moving pieces, try watching Oregon. That being said, every offense must execute, period. The most complex part of this offense is the read made by the quarterback (mental), every thing else is physical execution, just like every other offense.

George Stein

August 24th, 2012
9:26 am

That might be a fair criticism, dawgfan, but I don’t know how it gets addressed.

GTVegas

August 24th, 2012
9:30 am

Dawgfan, just to make a point, Fictitious quarterback Q’s success with be determined by how well running back RB does (to take focus off the passing game) and how well receivers WR1, WR2 and TE run their routes and catch the ball as well as how effective his linemanm TE and RB block. Boy, sure sounds like a lot of moving parts for that fictitious offense to be successful.

Nice try though for a DAWG. I certainly hope you not an alumnus. My wife is one and I know she is smarter than that, much smarter.

dawgfan

August 24th, 2012
9:49 am

“A balanced team will always have more success.”

And your offense isn’t that balanced so there you go. Alot of work on timing and scheming has to be put in to an offense that at the end of the day is not that complex. Its not very efficient. I’m not sure all that work is worth it. Most teams are probably light years ahead of you in their preparations right now. Your defense also struggles because of your offense. They aren’t prepared for the offenses they see on Saturday. That’s obvious. Even if you do get all the reads and timing down like clockwork your offense is still rather predictable. You’d be better off with a more traditional offense which is more balanced and doesn’t require the type of laser precision required of the triple option to be successful. Its neat to talk about and gets you a little media attention, but it hasn’t been getting you too many W’s lately.

I love watching Oregon by the way. Probably my favorite team out west, but how’d they do against Auburn? They couldn’t block Fairley and it blew up EVERYTHING. One guy wouldn’t be able to wreak that much havoc against a more traditional offense. Despite the championship, Auburn’s defense struggled that year against the more traditional offenses of the SEC. Then they play Oregon and its fancy offense and they look like world beaters. Go figure.

FL Jacket

August 24th, 2012
10:03 am

“That’s why Tech might light the world on fire one week against maybe a Duke and then go MIA against a Miami or UGA. In a word, keep it simple stupid”

dwagfan…I’ve done the research. The reason Tech lights the world on fire one week and then sputters the next against Miami has more to do with the quality of Miami’s run defense. Expecting any offense to fire on all cylinder week-in week-out is asking a lot, especially against superior defenses…the TO is no different.

There were several games lost because of the defense’s inability to stop the opponent (VPI, Utah) as much as the offense sputtering.

GTfan2012

August 24th, 2012
10:10 am

Dwagfan,
wait, I’m confused. Are you saying our offense is too complex and requires too many moving parts to be consistently successful. Or are you saying its not complex enough and defenses have “figured it out”. Because that doesn’t make sense. There are a lot of nuances that make CPJ’s offense successful. The base plays appear simple, but there are many variations off of them, which can keep the defense on its toes. And I would say that winning 33 games in four years of running this offense is quite a few wins.

dawgfan

August 24th, 2012
10:12 am

“Expecting any offense to fire on all cylinder week-in week-out is asking a lot”

Its asking even more when you run the triple option. That’s my point.

Anyway, I didn’t expect us to agree on this. I know you think Paul Johnson wakes up in the morning and farts excellence. I’ve rarely seen a fan base so in love with its coach before and I like to have a little fun with it. Whatever Tech’s problems are it never ever has anything to do with the head honcho that is running the program. You’ll blame the players, the refs, the assistant coaches, the ball boys. Everyone except Paul Johnson. Its just funny to me. That’s all. I think its really holding Tech football back and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Keep up the good work.

Thanks.