2019 was starting to look like a breakout season for Brandon Smith. The wide receiver was coming off a career-high game against Purdue, where he had 109 yards and 9 catches, but Smith had an unfortunate injury that caused him to miss four games.
In 2020, Smith is now back and healthy and wants to prove that he is one of the best receivers in the Big Ten.
“Just letting people know that I haven’t missed a step,” Smith said. “Even though I missed half of those games last year. I feel like I came back faster and stronger and still able to make the plays that I made last year.”
Smith has proven himself to be a dangerous red zone target, having one touchdown in each of the past two games. Quarterback Spencer Petras believes any time he throws Smith the ball, he is going to come down with it.
“Yeah, I mean you’ve seen it throughout Brandon’s career — he’s an outstanding player,” Petras said. “Really good with the ball in the air. Any 50/50 ball I have confidence in him to come down and make the play. He proves himself week in and week out in practice and on the game field. He is just doing a great job.”
Smith had an interesting journey to Iowa coming from Mississippi. But Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has been impressed with the receiver’s progress and development.
“He’s an extremely raw prospect, in my opinion, when we recruited him, which is probably part of the reason he left Mississippi to come here,” Ferentz said. “And so he was a guy that we thought had great potential. He’s great young man, great family and an athletic family. With each phase of his career, each month of his career, he’s been showing improvement and we’re excited for the fact that he’s with us here for the next six games.”
Brandon Smith has nine career touchdown catches and he looks to add to that total against Minnesota on Friday night.