Spencer Smith hopes to play on D instead of just on special teams

About having the top two offensive units run plays back-to-back against the same defensive players, Mac said:
“I’m pleased with the way things are coming along. We just need more and more reps. We’re running two huddles at the defense just to get twice as many reps.” (HSB)

Praising Spencer Smith’s play this Spring, Mac said:
“He’s having an excellent spring. He got a lot of reps last year and he’s a tough guy that can run.” (HSB)

About rushing down the field to cover kickoffs, Smith said:
“To me that’s the best thing in football. It’s the first play of every game. I love opening on kickoff.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Smith was a mainstay in Hawaii’s coverage and return units and is working to add to his workload in the fall as he competes for a starting job at safety. Smith has been a first-string safety through the first five practices of the spring alongside Mana Silva.”

About how he proved himself on special teams and hopes to now earn reps at safety, Smith said:
“I felt like it was my time to prove I could play. Coach (Rich) Miano always says you have to earn your stripes on special teams first. Now I have to earn my stripes on defense.” (HSB)

Praising Smith’s excellent play on their special teams, and how special teams contributors often become key defensive players, Mac said:
“He was our best special teams player. When I came here (in 1999 and 2007), I looked at the special teams guys because usually the best players on special teams are going to be a good defensive player for you. He was our best special teams player last year and I expect him to see a lot of time this year.” (HSB)

About how he got a lot of playing time at safety in the Hawaii Bowl, Smith said:
“The Notre Dame game was good experience for me because I got to play almost the whole second half. I think that gave Coach Miano a little more confidence in me for the spring. I was real nervous at first, but after I get that first hit out of the way I’m fine.” (HSB)

About how Smith wants to continue on special teams even if he earns time at safety, special teams coordinator and safeties coach Chris Tormey said:
“He’ll be one of our key special teams players. He’s a guy we need to count on. We’re looking for leadership in that area and I see him as one of our team leaders in special teams.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “He’s one of just five players on the UH roster whose hometowns are east of Texas (Chris Black, Malcolm Lane and Rick Taylor are from Florida. Cameron Allen-Jones is from Maryland). But the transition to island life wasn’t as jarring as it might sound. His father coached rugby in Georgia and Florida, often bringing Smith into contact with Polynesians playing the sport in the area.”

About rugby, Smith said:
“I always tried to introduce people to (rugby). We actually had 15-on-15 a couple times. It was fun.” (HSB)



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