Tape It Up: Boston College: Smith All Set

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Boston College: Smith All Set

For the first time since training camp, running back Jeff Smith practiced in pads on Tuesday. The sophomore had been dealing with long-lingering effects of a concussion he suffered six weeks ago, and had begun to doubt whether he would ever play again. But play he will, as Smith should be ready to go on Saturday when the No. 7 Eagles take on Bowling Green. And that's good news for head coach Jeff Jagodzinski, who had tabbed Smith as his primary kickoff returner and go-to running back. With the bulk of the ACC season still to come, there's plenty of time for Smith to fulfill his prophecy.

The 5-foot-9, 191-pound sophomore also suffered a concussion in high school, but the symptoms from that injury dissipated after two weeks. This time, they lingered for six. Smith was carrying the ball during contract dills before the season opener against Wake Forest when he was sandwiched between two linebackers. The sophomore said that he does not remember much from that practice, but he does remember the migraine headaches, lightheadedness and fatigue that plagued him for the next six weeks.

Smith spent his time on the injury list off of the field, spending practices in the learning resources center per Jagodzinski's request, and games in the stands, as team rules prohibit players who are not dressed for the game to watch from the sideline. There had been talk of redshirting Smith, who is a true sophomore, but Jagodzinski has told the running back that as soon as he is healthy, he should be ready to step back onto the field. And as of this week, it looks like Smith is ready.

On Tuesday, Smith took his first hits since the concussion, and said he felt more comfortable after taking the contact. He will most likely spend this week wetting his feet on special teams, where he excelled last season. As a true freshman he returned 23 kicks for 645 yards, averaging 28 yards per return, good enough for best in the ACC and No. 8 in the nation.

He may have some pre-game jitters, but once that first kickoff hits the skies, Jagodzinski is confident this Eagle will be flying once again.

Eagles Back In The Nest
Defensive end Nick Larkin should return to his starting position on Saturday after sitting out the last three weeks with a knee injury. Guard Ryan Poles was back to practice on Wednesday after sitting out on Tuesday, but safety Wes Davis is still recovering from a concussion and fullback James McCluskey is still nursing a knee injury.

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