69  Willie Smith
Willie Smith

Class:
Senior

Hometown:
Kenly

High School:
North Johnston

Height / Weight:
6-6 / 290

Position:
Offensive Line

Experience:
3L


Projected top open the 2010 campaign as the Pirates' starting left tackle for the second consecutive year ... Rebounded from a lower leg injury and overcame a missed 2009 spring season to help anchor the offensive line as a junior ... Spent first two seasons on the defensive side of the ball as a tackle and end before moving to the offense, first at the tight end position before settling into current role ... Adds plenty of quickness, mobility and tactical skills to an already imposing figure ... Should also enhance leadership capabilities as one of three seniors in trenches ... Extensive work with the strength program since arriving in program has added nearly 25 pounds to an already-strong frame ... A preseason All-Conference USA selection (fourth team) by Phil Steele Magazine.

2009: Started all 14 games at left tackle, playing a linemen second-best 933 snaps ... Recorded 41 knockdown blocks, the fifth-highest total on the team ... Helped the Pirates secure their second-straight C-USA title, picking up a season-best five knockdown blocks against Houston in the championship tilt ... Booked four knockdowns in road games at Marshall and Memphis ... Led the line in plays once (UAB) and knockdown blocks twice (four vs. Marshall and UAB) ... Logged a season-high 79 plays at Tulsa ... A key member of a line which ranked sixth nationally in fewest sacks allowed (12 overall/0.86 sapg) - surrendering only two in a nine-game stretch from Oct. 3 (Marshall) to Dec. 5 (Houston in the Conference USA Championship Game) ... Unit also only allowed one (Virginia Tech) in a seven-contest span from Oct. 17 (Rice) to Dec. 5 ... Paved way for 11 100-yard rushing games and a pair of 200-plus rushing performances, including a season-best 275 at Memphis ... Protected Patrick Pinkney as he threw for 200 yards or more in eight contests with a year-best 293 yards against UCF ... Assisted the offense to a season-high 517 yards at Tulsa ... Cleared space for six games of 400 yards or more for the offense ... In a pair of post-season contests against Houston and Arkansas, helped the offense average 403 yards per game ... Consistent play led to the inclusion as a member of the offensive Victors Club (weekly performance-based honor).

2008: Played in all 14 games, mostly in a special teams role ... Opened the campaign as a tight end but was then relocated to the tackle slot prior to the Southern Miss game ... Experienced 48 snaps as an offensive lineman and was credited with two knockdown blocks ... Made line debut against UAB with participation in 11 plays ... Logged 37 snaps the following week against UTEP and recorded both knockdowns against the Miners to help ECU establish season-highs in total yards (475) and points (53) ... Began sophomore season in a battle with J.R. Kraemer for top reserve standing behind Davon Drew at tight end (before move to tackle).

2007: A redshirt freshman who played in 11 games and recorded seven tackles (two solo, five assists) ... Credited with one TFL (-1 yard) ... Tallied a career-high three stops against UAB before adding two more a week later vs. Memphis ... Also booked single tackles against Houston (first career stop) and UCF, which resulted in lost yardage ... Forced first fumble against Knights ... Made collegiate debut at Virginia Tech, but did not record defensive statistics ... Did not play against North Carolina and Southern Miss.

2006: Redshirted ... Solidified optimism of recruitment process with impressive stint on scout team as a true freshman ... Officially signed with ECU's program in February, 2006.

High School: Provided a key impact in one of North Johnston's top seasons in school history as a senior ... Led the Panthers to a 14-1 record, a conference championship and regional runner-up status in 2005 by spearheading a defensive unit which allowed just a paltry 11.8 points per game ... Booked 107 stops (92 solo), 30 tackles for lost yardage, 14 sacks, 17 quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, six batted passes and one interception during senior campaign ... Netted 41 tackles (25 solo), six sacks, 17 pressures and 11 hits behind the line of scrimmage as a junior in 2004 ... In all, earned three football letters and served as team captain during senior year ... Added four more basketball letters as a center ... Signing at ECU marked the first time in the 40-year history of the North Johnston football program that a player inked with a NCAA Division I-A program ... Coach was Ken Avent, Jr.

Personal: Full name is Willie Junior Smith ... Born November 13, 1986 at Smithfield, N.C. ... Earned a bachelor's degree in business (management) in May, 2010 and is currently pursuing a second undergraduate degree in family community services this fall ... Brother-in-law (Dre Barnes) played collegiate football at I-AA member Liberty (running back) ... Hobbies include basketball, music and cards ... Favorite NFL player is Julius Peppers ... Earned selection to the ECU Athletic Director's Honor Roll for work in the classroom.