First Line of Defense
Carson Smith, 51, tackles a player for the Lindenwood University Lions (Photo provided by UCO photographic services)
With football season underway, University of Central Oklahoma defensive tackle Carson Smith is ready for the year at hand.
“Every freshman needs somebody to be there for them,” Smith said. “Most of them are in culture shock right now and I want to be there to support them and let them know that they are alright.”
Smith said he knows that first hand, having played as a true freshman after an All-State senior season at Blanchard High School. In his senior season for Blanchard, Smith played in all 12 games, where he had 26 tackles, including five for loss and half a sack.
“It was truly a blessing,” Smith said about playing as a true freshman. “I was fortunate enough to have people in front of me who mentored me and put the work in the weight room. Not many people get to say that they did that.”
Last year for the Bronchos, Smith played in all 11 games, recorded 37 tackles, two sacks and had a team leading seven tackles for loss en route to earning Honorable Mention All-MIAA. The kinesiology major and two-time state powerlifting champion said he has even bigger goals for himself this season.
“Last year I got honorable mention and this year I want to make an all-conference team,” Smith said.
UCO Head Coach Nick Bobeck had some high praise for the defensive lineman and said he thinks Smith is one of their best players.
“Carson is probably one of the best defensive tackles in our conference, if not in all of division two football,” Bobeck said. “He’s a really good football player.”
Smith leads a very young defensive tackle position and said he knows that it is part of his job to help bring them along.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys on the defensive line and I need to help mentor them and help them become the players that they need to be,” Smith said.
Smith wants to make sure that he is doing his part and make sure that he, along with the rest of the Bronchos, give it their all each and every game as they look to rebound from last year’s 3-8 record.
“For me, playing as hard as I can is something that I can say I didn’t do last season,” Smith said. “We’re held to a high standard and if we meet that standard then I think the team will be different and successful.”
Smith was part of the Bronchos Live United Texarkana Bowl team that beat Southwestern Oklahoma in 2015 and said he would like nothing more to help lead the Bronchos back to post season play.
“Making the playoffs or a bowl is everybody’s goal,” Smith said. “But winning one is fun and something that I will never forget.”