MOBILE, AL (WLOX) - Two months removed from Louisville’s 2018 campaign, it took Jaylen Smith a few days of practices at the Senior Bowl to get back in the swing of things.
“First couple of days, it was a little rough,” Smith told WLOX on Thursday. “But I feel like the last part of yesterday and today, I had a lot of momentum and I had a lot of fun, learned a lot and made the most of my opportunities.”
The former Pascagoula standout is hopeful he did enough to leave a lasting impact on NFL coaches scouts, as Smith joins over one hundred college football seniors looking to improve their draft stock over the course of the week.
“A lot of them preach the same thing, control what you can control. That’s not being selfish, that’s just being real." Smith said when asked about the feedback he received. "There’s a lot of stuff that’s out of your control, a lot of stuff that you can’t do much about, but you can control your effort, you can control your attitude.”
Smith certainly couldn’t do much to control Louisville’s dismal 2018 campaign, a season where the Cardinals finished 2-10 after losing Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson to the draft, while Smith managed only one touchdown on 36 receptions.
“It was tough, coming from being one of the top-tier programs in the conference - in the country at certain points," Smith said. Having a losing season is tough, but I look more as a lesson than a loss. It taught me a lot, taught me a lot about humility and just overcoming a lot of obstacles.”
The 6′4″ 220 pound wide receiver, just one year removed from a junior campaign where caught 60 passes for 980 yards and seven touchdowns, is hopeful his efforts this week in Mobile did enough to remind NFL coaches and scouts just how good of a prospect he can be.
“That’s what it’s all about," Smith said. Coming out, meeting new people, competing, giving the scouts something to look forward to for the Combine, Pro Day and eventually the Draft.”
The former Pascagoula Panther will suit up for the North team for the 2019 Senior Bowl. Kick-off from Ladd-Peebles Stadium is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.