After entering the NCAA transfer portal 10 days ago, former Texas Longhorns junior wide receiver Jake Smith released a statement via Twitter on Friday that provided some confirmation his time in Austin is over.
The decision to evaluate options outside of Austin came after the 6’0, 195-pounder missed the spring with a broken foot suffered on the first day of spring practice under new head coach Steve Sarkisian. The injury marked another setback for Smith after his sophomore season was marred by a hamstring strain that caused him to miss three games early in the season.
The Arizona product was able to return against TCU and caught six passes for 49 yards and a touchdown, but then aggravated his injury and missed the following game against Oklahoma.
When Smith returned, he didn’t play as large a role in the offense as anticipated, catching seven passes for 70 yards and a touchdown in his most prolific performance of the season against Oklahoma State. In the season finale, Smith did not catch a pass in the Alamo Bowl against Colorado, finishing the year with 23 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
The former consensus four-star product had a promising freshman season with 25 catches for 274 yards and six touchdowns as the primary backup for Devin Duvernay and was expected to play a big role in the offense during the 2021 season.
Given the early flashes by Smith with the Longhorns and the national, high-profile nature of his recruitment as a prep star, expect Smith to receive interest from around the country. Originally a contender for Smith, USC could loom as a potential landing spot given the Texas ties on that staff, including former Texas Director of Recruiting Bryan Carrington.