Baylor RB Abram Smith wants to be an aggressive runner for the Texans

·3 min read

The Texans Wire had the opportunity to briefly sit down with Baylor running back Abram Smith. Smith had an incredible senior campaign where he ran for 1601 yards and 12 touchdowns. This was followed up by a good showing at the Senior Bowl that has all but guaranteed he’ll hear his name called during the NFL Draft next week.

Smith opened the interview portraying a gentle person. He talked about his desire to play for the local Baylor Bears since he was a middle schooler. Smith cites fond memories of his offer and time as a ball boy for the Bears.

“I did a lot of camps growing up… Baylor was my go-to school. I have a picture from high school just standing in McClain stadium with the caption ‘future Baylor Bear.'”

A man that got to fulfill a lifetime dream playing for the Baylor Bears and helping them to one of their best seasons in shcool history at 12-2… Smith now tries to pay it forward. He’s involved with the community in Ablon and hopes to help young football players like himself.

“I like to talk to teams and talk to younger kids, I hope to influence them in the right way. Any NFL team is going to get that, somebody who’s real. Someone who understands when they should be an influence and when they shouldn’t be.”

Make no mistake, however, there’s a totally different beast to be had on the field. A kind man, Smith is the opposite on the football field. He’s the type of violent runner that could make his presence felt as a rookie.

Smith was forced into a variety of roles during his time at Baylor. His first year in Waco was a redshirt campaign where the Bears only won 1 game. Others seasons included anywhere from 2 wins to 11 wins. Somehow, he was also asked to transition to linebacker.

Although a tough transition, Smith learned something from it. He noted his special team experience as something that made it possible. Something that potentially started to unlock the aggression we saw as a runner.

“I learned to smack dudes left and right on kickoff so when the transition to linebacker came I took the opportunity and ran with it… got to start 4 games”

It was a humble interaction from someone who was the leading tackler in Baylor’s final 4 games of 2020. He tallied 48 tackles total on that season and filled in more than admirably for someone who was a career running back.

Now, even having moved back to runningback, the film shows this part of his story. Smith runs like the linebacker he was forced to be during the 2020 campaign. He embraces contact, cuts without hesitation, and is almost always finding additional yardage on the field. When asked about the style, Smith agreed.

“I’m a physical, downhill runner, a bruiser with some speed… I can do it all and will bring that to any NFL team and to the Texans.”

When challenged about any limitations that may remain, especially with how different the offensive scheme projects in Houston with offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Smith showed the upmost confidence. Wide zone or power scheme, he says he’s ready to make the transition. This bodes very well for a Houston Texans squad that may be looking towards him on the third day of the draft.

The NFL draft experience is usually a bizarre one for prospects where they’re poked, prodded, and questioned in ways they’ve never been before. Smith talked about the process like a true professional. He raved about the privilege of meeting NFL coaches like Mike Tomlin and turned introspectively when asked about bizarre questions that come up.

“I didn’t get funny questions, but I give funny answers… I tell people I’m the best Pokémon trainer in the world… I always go with the fire types. You can go around everywhere and just deal out critical hits. When I play Super Smash Bros… I use the boxer, Little Mac.”

Ironically, his Nintendo characters and even the choice of Pokémon capture the aggression that is so evident when watching Smith play.

The former Baylor Bear could be an incredible addition to the running back room and a value draft pick for new General Manager Nick Caserio. We’ll see if the team recognizes how much value they’d gain in keeping Smith in-state.