September 2, 2009
GoldandBlack.com Audio: Keith Smith
Keith Smith, one of the few veterans among a slew of newcomers at wide receiver, is understandably ready to get the season started, as the Boilers hope to prove doubters wrong.
Hear from the junior wide receiver in an exclusive interview below.
Transcription follows ...
GoldandBlack.com: With the game only a few days away, you guys must be more than ready to open the season, right?
Smith: "Oh, definitely. We're all itching to get out in Ross-Ade and play someone else. We've been playing against each other since the spring and we're tired of playing against each others, so we're ready to get some other colors out there."
GoldandBlack.com: You are the veteran in the receiving corps and a lot has been talked about with the newcomers. Have you been impressed with how those guys have come along?
Smith: "Definitely. They came into a brand new offense and a lot of them were here most of the summer, so we were able to work with them. But we finally got the pads on in camp and I'm really happy with where they're at right now and they seem to be able to help us a lot."
GoldandBlack.com: Do you feel like Purdue is improved from a skill position point of view with the guys here now, who are young but talented?
Smith: "It's a whole different type of group. They're young and a lot of them are inexperienced, but, like you said, they have a lot of talent. I'm just ready to get out there on Saturday and see them perform in front of everybody."
GoldandBlack.com: Have you seen definite growth since the start of training camp?
Smith: "By far, we're a whole different group now. We started off very unsure about how everything was going to come together, but now I'm extremely confident about every part of our offense."
GoldandBlack.com: Is it easy for you to talk about guys who have caught your eye who are going to show their stuff?
Smith: "I definitely think Antavian Edison is going to come out there and open up some eyes, and Keith Carlos. Of course, Aaron Valetin is going to come out there and put on a show. It's going to be nice out there."
GoldandBlack.com: Obviously, expectation No. 1 on Saturday is to win, but what other things are you looking for?
Smith: "I just want to be sure about the team, everybody come out with limited mistakes and play through the entire game, all four quarters. I just want to see them never give up and want to be the team that hits the hardest, like coaches always says."
GoldandBlack.com: How much do you know about Toledo, because they have a first-year coach and a new defensive coordinator?
Smith: "He was the defensive coordinator from Oklahoma State, so probably he's going to bring a lot of stuff from there. But other than that, we don't know much about the team, how they're going to come out. We're going to get ready as best as we can from what we know right now."
GoldandBlack.com: So in your opinion, do you think this offense, that not a lot of people are expecting much from, can come out and surprise?
Smith: "Definitely, I have all the confidence in the world in this offense right now. I'm just ready to come out Saturday and show it to the world."
GoldandBlack.com: And from your own personal perspective, you have to feel like a different player, considering you were inexperienced and injured last season.
Smith: "I feel like a new man. I'm healthy, have lost some weight and am ready to come out there and show everyone the new Keith Smith."
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