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Patience pays off for Kavosiey Smoke before duels with home state schools

The 2020 college football season is a balancing act for Kavosiey Smoke.

The redshirt sophomore from Wetumpka, Alabama cannot wait to return to the field. Once he gets there, to succeed he must consistently be patient to pick apart opponents.

Week one can’t come soon enough. Smoke grew up only 50 miles west of Auburn, a school that showed some interest during his recruitment but never pulled the trigger and extended a scholarship offer. I think it’s safe to say that Smoke is happy he’ll get a shot at both Auburn and Alabama on the road this fall.

I’m ready, just know that. I ain’t got nothing else to say,” Smoke said on Tuesday. “I’m just ready to play.”

Smoke got off to a fast start in his first season of action. In his first three games he rushed for 251 yards and two touchdowns on 7.4 yards per carry. As the physicality wore on Smoke, production slowed to a crawl in the middle of the season. This offseason he improved his body to mitigate injury chance.

“The biggest thing is he’s been healthy. It seems like every camp since he’s been here something’s gone wrong with a soft tissue, even in the spring. (This preseason) he’s made it through every single practice,” said offensive coordinator and running backs coach Eddie Gran.

The midseason lull Smoke experienced isn’t so different than what Benny Snell went through as a sophomore in 2017. Eager and anxious to make plays, he had to become a patient runner to let the Big Blue Wall create running lanes. Smoke studied defenses this offseason to learn how to spot holes before they are opened.

“I had to figure out how to be patient,” Smoke said. “The physical part, I’ve always been physical. I got a little speed on me now since I got lean. I really just slowed down and learned the playbook and learned how to read defenses.”

Smoke has also become a more vocal member of the offense. Gran has seen him transform into a leader. The final piece of the puzzle is a word Gran has used day after day after day this offseason, “consistency.”

“I’m going to sound like a broken record, but it’s consistency with him too,” said Gran, “understanding the offense, seeing the big picture back there and when the bullets fly and things are coming fast, communicating and understanding that communication and getting everything done. He is certainly working at it. We’ve got some ways to go but I love where he’s at right now, a lot further along than he’s ever been.”

The most consistent running back will be the one who receives the majority of the carries. No matter how they are divided up in the crowded room, there’s no animosity between the running backs.

“It was never about who’s getting the carry, who’s getting the catch,” said Smoke. “It was all about winning the game, finish the game, make the team proud.”

If the Wildcats can pick up two wins in particular this fall in the Heart of Dixie, nobody will be prouder than Kavosiey Smoke.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

10 Comments for Patience pays off for Kavosiey Smoke before duels with home state schools

  1. BigBluSoTru
    5:09 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink

    I see he is now on the heisman watch list great job smoke. Cant wait too see what Uk has in store for his heisman campaign with that name.

    • ClutchCargo
      10:21 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink


  2. michaelb
    6:19 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink

    I didn’t know what the issue was , he plays like an nfl rb . I remember him exiting a game last year and didn’t see him much there after

  3. claiborne_field
    6:44 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink

    Smoke is our best RB. Mark it down. The kid is a stud.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:16 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink

      I agree. I had someone the other day disagree with me and say it’s Rodriguez “and it isn’t even close.” That may be the case with measurables, but Smoke looked like he was about to score on almost every carry last year. If he’s in even better shape, look out!

    • ClutchCargo
      10:19 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink

      We’re lucky to have them both. Like the old Boom and Benny combo, they each bring something to the table.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:31 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink

      Don’t forget AJ, amd Gran is bragging on McClain too.

  4. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    10:13 pm September 9, 2020 Permalink

    From a UK fan in Montgomery, GO SMOKE GO!!!

  5. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    12:31 am September 10, 2020 Permalink

    This is when heart takes over and it gets harder to bring a kid down. If he plays like he did at his peak last year with a big enough fire in his belly, he may be the reason we beat Auburn. We’ve been on the receiving end of that fire playing WKU a couple of times.

  6. bbn606
    6:21 am September 10, 2020 Permalink

    With that running back room, I pity the guy that fumbles. He may never see the field again.