Marcus Smith was the Baltimore Ravens 4th round draft pick out of the University of New Mexico. At 6'2" and 212 pounds, he is a big target with excellent hands. In 2007, he caught 91 passes for 1125 yards and four TD's in addition to 10 rushing attempts for 31 yards and one TD. He showed incredible consistency in that he caught at least four passes in every game, including 11 passes twice last season. Here is our interview that we arranged through his agent, Kevin Omell:
Q: You finished the season with 91 receptions, tied for 11thin the nation. The only player with more receptions drafted ahead of you was Kansas State’s Jordy Nelson, with 122 catches, who went in the second round. Donnie Avery, from Houston was tied w/ you in receptions and he was drafted in the second round as well. How do you explain what looks to be a steal in the draft for the Ravens who selected you in the 4th round?
A: I guess it’s in the hands of the teams and their scouting reports. From what I have heard many teams had a 3rd round rating on me but the draft is so unpredictable and it’s a waiting game. I feel that everything happens for a reason and I feel that I was meant to end up a Raven.
Q: The Ravens look to have their three top wideouts returning in 2008 (Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams). Where do you hope to see yourself fitting into the Ravens offensive plans?
A: Offensively I see myself being the guy that makes the tough catches across the middle and contributing on our running game getting down field and making key blocks. I feel I will have a few opportunities to make some big plays and how well I do in pre-season will dictate that.
Q: With 91 receptions in 13 games , that comes to an average of seven per game. You never had less than four, and a season high of eleven (twice). How do you explain your consistency of always showing up and producing every game?
A: I attribute that to my coaches calling my number and my QB Donovan Porterie having the confidence to allow me to take some of the pressures of the game off his shoulders being that he was only a sophomore. I would say our off-season prep and just familiarity with one another definitely didn’t hurt either.
Q: After just a couple of mini-camps w/ the Ravens' #1 draft pick, Joe Flacco, what can you tell us about his ability to lead the offense and throw the ball?
A: He is a leader first and foremost. He takes charge in the huddle, which I am not used to, but its nice to see and hear the will to lead in him. It gives us confidence that he is ready to do whatever it takes to make the play work.
Q: What do you know about the city of Baltimore, other than the Ravens?
A: Not much. Never lived on the east coast so its fun to go out and see the town and the way of life.
Q: Tell us about your family, parents, siblings, pets?
A: My mother passed this past September of a brain aneurysm which was very sudden. My father was never really in the picture and my brother is currently incarcerated and due to be released in April of next year. I don’t have any pets but would like to get a dog here in the near future.
Q: Do you have nickname that we should know about?
A: No real nicknames, never really had any that stuck.
Q: What non-football related, little known, fun, unique fact about you can you tell us?
A: I love to do extreme sports like snowboard, skateboard, and on occasion down hill mountain bike. Other than that I am an ordinary guy.
Marcus: Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know a little bit more about you. Good luck in Training Camp!