Jamill Smith, a senior wide receiver
Games played: 12
Receiving yards: 855
Yards per reception: 13.6
Receiving touchdowns: 8
Yards per game: 71.2
Jamill Smith has been known as the local player at Ball State throughout his career.
He also happens to be the smallest on the team, but that didn’t stop him from coming up big in the 55-14 win over Miami on Friday.
The senior wide receiver caught seven passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns in his final game in Muncie. All of Smith’s touchdowns came in the first half, which fueled a 35-0 halftime lead.
“We’re finally playing almost to our potential,” he said. “It feels good to end the regular season almost at our potential, but we know we can get better.”
Smith didn’t want his senior day to be extraordinary. The focus was simply to perform at a high level and get Ball State’s 10th win of the season.
Ball State (10-2, 7-1 Mid-American Conference) got the job done behind the receiver trio of Smith, Willie Snead and Jordan Williams, who combined for 421 of Keith Wenning’s 445 passing yards. Smith said there wasn’t any extra effort to accomplish the feat in his final home game.
“Not really,” Smith said following the game. “It’s the same thing. I want to play the best, be the best Jamill Smith every game, every practice. It doesn’t matter.”
Listed at 5 feet and 8 inches, Smith has had to play at his best in his four years. He’s come up big for Ball State in his final year by totaling 63 catches for 855 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
All those marks are second among Ball State’s receiving core, trailing only Snead in all three categories.
“I’ve been the smallest person on the team since elementary,” Smith said. “I can play football with anyone, so it doesn’t matter.”
Smith’s toughness and speed has allowed him to be the Cardinals’ top kick returner as well. He’s recorded 23 returns in 2013 with more than 600 return yards.
No other Ball State player has more than five kick returns.
“Everybody knows the tremendous competitor he is,” head coach Pete Lembo said. “You have to be living under a rock to not know that.”
Smith will get one last opportunity to wear the Ball State jersey in the team’s bowl game. Ball State will learn Sunday when its bowl game is.
Regardless of where the game is, Smith will be ready to compete and help Ball State try to win its first bowl game in program history.
It’s the only way he knows how to play.