Three days now. We have arrived at the “hump day” of the first game week leading up to the commencement of the 2023 season. To commemorate, today we’ll look at #3 on the Boise State roster—Riley Smith
#3, Riley Smith, 6Y Senior, Tight End
High school: Bartram Trails High School (St. Augustine, FL)
How’d he get to The Blue™?
A late get in the 2018 class, he was part of Boise State’s frantic search for another quarterback after Zach Wilson decommitted just before the December 2017 signing period and left Boise State hanging. He flew under the radar, splitting time with (current UCF QB-turned-WR) Joey Gatewood in high school. His patience paid off, as Boise State offered just after the period, turning down a late offer from Pittsburgh. Which is a great choice because, you know…Pittsburgh is in Pittsburgh.
Sunshine is from…not California, actually. He’s literally from the Sunshine state. But, despite no longer being a quarterback, the man has successfully kept the clipping shears away from his magnificent mane. Ergo, “Sunshine”.
Let’s be honest, it was tough for Boise State to lose Wilson (at the time!…kinda feels like dodging a bullet now), and be close to getting Brock Purdy; perhaps even Trey Lance. But give Smith a ton of credit for being a guy who has reinvented himself. Quarterback didn’t work out, so he moved to tight end early in the 2019 campaign. He didn’t have a catch until 2020, when he had 15 catches for 155 yards, a TD, and four carries for 36 yards. He followed that up with 8 catches for 86 yards and a TD in 2021. Last year saw him almost double his career catches with 25. Those went for 214 yards and a touchdown. In addition to all that, he’s a two-time Academic All-MWC honoree.
Aside from on-field and in-the-classroom “highlights”, I’m adding the fact that he landed an NIL deal–despite not being the most recognizable player on the roster–as a career highlight. Man has some business acumen, it appears!
He also did this once:
Everyone was excited to get Riley back for the 2023 season, as it wasn’t a guarantee. But he opted to use the extra COVID year and return for one last bite at the apple, and it’s a good thing he did because he is among the leaders on the team–not just the offense. He has already been declared a starter for 2023 and will be the offense’s primary tight end.
Is he on Twitter?
He is (@rileysmith_9). He also is verified on Instagram (@Rsmith_9).
Completely made up fact
Just like his position switch, “Sunshine” was a reinvention because his original nickname was “Wily Riley”…but it had two many syllables to drop casually in conversation. Also, he kept getting beat up and pranked by a roadrunner.