Lubbock Smith: A Sure Tackler With History In His Name

Oct. 29, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan.— Kansas redshirt freshman Lubbock Smith will be traveling to Lubbock, Texas for the first time in his life as the Jayhawks face Texas Tech on Saturday.

The Dallas, Texas native, who has been called every city in the state of Texas since sixth grad, is looking forward to his visit.

“Any city that is located in Texas someone has called me it,” Smith said. “They call me El Paso or Dallas.”

Considering Lubbock Smith is really Lubbock Smith the Third, there is a lot of history behind his name.

“I don’t think it is true, but the story is that my grandpa’s father knew a famous guy with the last name Lubbock and took his last name and made it his first name,” Smith laughed.

Smith has started to make a name for himself in the Jayhawk secondary. Playing as a backup through the first five games of the year, it all changed when he was called on to start at Colorado on Oct. 17. He recorded eight tackles. That performance earned him another start against Oklahoma last week. He responded with seven tackles against the Sooners.

Smith is one of several youngsters earning time on the defensive side of the ball midway through the year.

“I am still kind of new at this,” Smith said. “I really haven’t had a lot of experience. I have been practicing with the team. I knew all the plays, so being on the field wasn’t going to be anything new. “

“I think the young guys are really talented young guys, who are playing early in their careers, where we would have liked to bring them along a little later, but did not have that choice,” Head Coach, Mark Mangino, said. “There are things that they do not know, but they are really playing hard and really playing smart football. What we are asking them to do, they are able to do. I think they are hard-nosed kids. They are tackling people, they are getting them on the ground and they are playing their assignments well. It is not perfect. We have some busts out there, but that is going to happen.”

Smith is the kind of player who knows how to use his instincts and likes to make hard hits. He is a physical football player and is not afraid to make contact.

“He brings another dimension on the field,” said teammate and fellow defensive back Chris Harris. “Lubbock is a sure tackler who can stop the yardage after the catch. “

Smith is focusing his attention right now is on how to stop Texas Tech’s vaunted passing attack. The Red Raiders lead the nation in passing yards per game and have many different quarterbacks and wide receivers who can make big plays on the field.

“We have been playing a lot of seven on seven preparing for the pass game, but we haven’t forgotten about the run game either,” Smith said.

Smith will face the challenges of the Red Raider’s offense and is looking forward to his first visit to the Texas panhandle.

“I have never been to Lubbock, Texas, but I am ready to go down there and show them who the real Lubbock is,” Smith said.