||Northeast's Smith honored by MACJC
BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/NEMCC Athletics) — One of the best individual performances in the entire country during the 2014 football season has earned one Northeast Mississippi Community College rookie a statewide award.
Brady Smith was named the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) Defensive Player of the Week for games contested October 23-25.
“I just think that every game he got better,” said Tigers defensive backs coach Kareem Moore. “He’s one of those guys that comes to practice early and is the last one to leave. He’s a good young man and everything he’s done has been on the upside. You love those kind of players.”
Smith guided a Northeast defense that compiled a season-best 87 total tackles and five sacks as a unit during its final outing of the campaign against Holmes Community College.
The 5'11", 175-pounder recorded career-highs of 18 tackles and 11 solo stops against the Bulldogs’ option offense. Those numbers are far above his previous personal bests of seven tackles and four unassisted takedowns.
He also helped the Tigers move into a tie with defending national runner-up Georgia Military College and Kilgore (Texas) College for the most fumble recoveries by one team this year at 16.
Smith scooped the pigskin that was knocked loose by Jalen Hadley in the second quarter to give Northeast possession deep inside enemy territory. It was his initial fumble recovery as a Tiger.
Northeast transitioned the Holmes mistake into points four plays later when quarterback Brett Thompson took the snap from center Martize Mitchell and then tossed it to wideout LaVontis Smith, who found Joe Horn, Jr., wide open in the end zone for a touchdown.
Smith forced a fumble during the fourth period as well that was grabbed by University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) commit Marcus Robinson. That miscue by the Bulldogs secured the eighth time in nine contests this season that the Tigers’ defense accounted for at least two turnovers.
“It means a lot,” Smith said. “I give it all to God and my coaches for helping me out and my family for pushing me to be better. I just had to go out there and play ball for everybody that I love on this earth.”
The South Panola High School product concluded a fantastic inaugural year in the City of Hospitality with 52 total tackles, which was the most stops by any Tiger cornerback or safety.
Smith’s 29 solo takedowns were the most among any Northeast freshmen. He was third on the squad with 6.5 tackles per game as well.
He accounted for one of two defensive touchdowns for the Tigers in 2014. Smith intercepted a pass just after halftime against Coahoma Community College and raced 33 yards untouched to lead Northeast to a homecoming victory on September 27.
Smith is now eligible for honors by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), which announces its countrywide accolades on Wednesday.