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FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

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FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

Florida Atlantic's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

By Tom D'angelo Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Posted: 10:58 a.m. Thursday, April 8, 2010


BOCA RATON — At one point this winter, between tweaking his throwing motion and preparing for his wedding, former FAU quarterback Rusty Smith made a list.

On it, Smith, his fiancé Nicole Bronson and his father, Russell, ranked every NFL team, 1 to 32, weighing the coaching, the quarterback depth chart, the city, the best places to raise a family. …

"Everything you can imagine," Smith said. "And it took us awhile to do it."

Rusty and Nicole, who will be married Sunday in his hometown of Jacksonville, want to be prepared if Smith is not drafted and must decide on multiple free-agent offers.

Tom Mills, Smith's agent, believes a decision would be made not long after the April 22-24 draft concludes.

"We want to find a team that can develop him," Mills said.

ESPN's Mel Kiper does not expect Smith to be taken in the seven-round draft, but he believes Smith will be referencing those rankings.

"He should be a priority undrafted free agent," Kiper said. "I think he gets to a camp."

Smith is ranked No. 29 among quarterbacks by ESPN. Most sites have him around 20. Just 12 quarterbacks were drafted last year and 13 were taken in 2008.

Frank Coyle, publisher of the Web site draftinsiders.com, agrees with Kiper, saying Smith could be a "coveted free agent." But Coyle also believes there is a chance one team could look at Smith, see a nice upside and take a chance.

"You only need one team to like him," Coyle said. "Take somebody like Jacksonville. I think he'd be a natural there. When you don't have a franchise guy at the top, you've got to bring guys in.

"The key thing for him is to get into a camp and get into an offense where he can settle in and learn a system."

That team could be the Tennessee Titans, who flew in Smith recently for an interview. Smith met with coach Jeff Fisher, offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and quarterback coach Craig Johnson.

On Friday, Smith will be among a group of players from area colleges who will work out for the Dolphins.

What these teams will notice is a player with a slightly different motion from the one who threw for Sun Belt records of 10,112 yards and 76 touchdowns. Smith met in January with George Whitfield, who runs a quarterback training company in San Diego.

Whitfield worked with Smith on getting to the point where he cocks his arm quicker.

"He's got the pro-style experience. He's almost 6-foot-5. He's 230 pounds," Mills said. "His arm is plenty strong enough to make all the throws he has to make and he has good footwork.

"Whether he gets drafted or not isn't the most important thing. We have a real long-term approach to this."

* Sun Belt Champions & New Orleans Bowl Champions-2007
* Motor City Bowl/Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl Champions-2008
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

Did anyone hear anything about his tryout with the Dolphins and workout with the Patriots went this weekend?
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

I've been scouring the internet since Saturday and nada.

Beware the talons of the Mighty Owls!
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

Don't know what this means for Rusty, but when the Titans interviewed him the team only had two QBs on their roster. Now they have 3:

Titans agree to terms with veteran QB Simms
The Titans announced the move Monday, making Simms the third quarterback on the roster with Vince Young and Kerry Collins.
Titans agree to terms with veteran QB Simms - NFL.com
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

Ugh, but I do agree with Kiper. He will make it to a camp, and I do think he can make a roster. I would love to know how he did for the patriots workout.

Beware the talons of the Mighty Owls!
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

proudowl said

Ugh, but I do agree with Kiper. He will make it to a camp, and I do think he can make a roster. I would love to know how he did for the patriots workout.

I heard he did well.  The Patriots told him that they will draft him in the 3rd round.  Rusty told Bill & the Patriots that he didn't want to play for a team that was on the decline.  Rusty said that he would rather play for a team that has a future like the Dolphins.  LOL

Sorry ProudOwl, I couldn't help myself ;D  I hope that he did well and one of the many teams that have seen him make a move later in April :D

GO OWLS!

* Sun Belt Champions & New Orleans Bowl Champions-2007
* Motor City Bowl/Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl Champions-2008
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

:D  That was priceless. How did you know I was a Dolphin homer? Like many Owl fans I would love to see just one of our guys drafted —- even if he is Mr. Irrelevant.

Beware the talons of the Mighty Owls!
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

All he has to do is lace up, and touch his cleat on a single blade of grass…

We're in the books!
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

proudowl said

:D  That was priceless. How did you know I was a Dolphin homer? Like many Owl fans I would love to see just one of our guys drafted —- even if he is Mr. Irrelevant.

I actually thought you were a Patriots fan.  Glad to know that you are also a Dolphin fan ;D

GO OWLS!

* Sun Belt Champions & New Orleans Bowl Champions-2007
* Motor City Bowl/Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl Champions-2008
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Re: FAU's Rusty Smith making plans for free agency in case NFL doesn't draft him

That's how I feel about it. I don't care who or what team get an FAU FOOTBALL PLAYER , please someone just pick one. I think every div. 1 team in the state has a present or past player in the NFL. ie FLORIDA, FLORIDA STATE, UM. FLORIDA A@M, USF, UCF, FIU, and even BETHUNE COOKMAN. We need to represent. OK maybe not JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY. 8) 8) 8)
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