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Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith to enter NFL Draft

2013-12-27T19:38:00Z 2013-12-27T21:34:34Z Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith to enter NFL DraftBy MIKE VOREL Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online
December 27, 2013 7:38 pm  • 

LARAMIE -- Brett Smith decided it was time to chase his dream.

Wyoming's junior quarterback will forego his final season at Wyoming and enter the NFL Draft, Smith confirmed on Friday evening. He informed Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman of his decision late Friday afternoon.

“It was extremely tough, that’s for sure. But I just felt like with the entire situation of things, I made a decision that being in the NFL was my absolute dream, and I just wanted to pursue it," Smith told the Star-Tribune. "That was basically all that went into this decision. You look at a lot of things, but what it came down to was that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming an NFL quarterback and I didn’t want to do anything else but that.”

Smith said that he thought about this decision for the entirety of his winter break spent at home in West Salem, Ore. In the end, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to accomplish a lifelong goal of playing quarterback in the NFL.

With Wyoming's recent coaching change, Smith acknowledged that it would be easy for outsiders to assume that the firing of head coach Dave Christensen and the subsequent hiring of Craig Bohl weighed heavily in his decision to leave.

But he stressed that the coaching change had absolutely nothing to do with his early departure from Laramie.

“Being completely honest, that had no effect whatsoever," Smith said. "And I know, looking from the outside in, a lot of people might come to that conclusion. But Coach Bohl was such a great guy and such a stand-up guy, and I met with him quite a few times before I left.

"I let him know my situation and what I was thinking about, and he was so supportive from the first time I talked to him -- and I talked to him quite a few times. He came out to Oregon, came to my hometown. We talked about it, and he understood the position I was in. The offensive coordinator, Brent Vigen, understood the position I was in.

"When I told Coach Bohl, he was totally supportive and he understood. It’s sad, because that’s a guy that sometime in my career I wish I could’ve played for.”

Both Bohl and Vigen traveled to Oregon and Washington the weekend of Dec. 21 and 22 to visit Smith and redshirt sophomore quarterback Jason Thompson, who is next in line to become the Cowboys' starting quarterback.

During his three-year career at Wyoming, Smith completed 62 percent of his passes for 8,834 yards and 76 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,531 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was 17-20 as a starter and 0-1 in bowl games. The junior holds Wyoming's record for total offense and the Mountain West record for total yards in a game (640).

Despite all the numbers, though, Smith said the people he met during his time at Wyoming is what he'll remember the most.

“I have a lot of great memories, and not just football. I met a lot of great people, and just with everything that’s gone on behind the scenes as well outside of sports. It’s been a lot of fun," Smith said. "It’s been a great college experience for me, and obviously there has been some games that I’ll never forget, and I’ll never forget the fans.

"I’m just really happy about the relationships I’ve made and the guys that I’ve played with. I wouldn’t have rather had anybody else.”

Looking forward, Smith said he has not started the process of training and preparing for the 2014 NFL Draft. He will soon begin talking to agents, and he hopes to find a place to train in the next two days.

And while Smith has not graduated from Wyoming, he vowed to complete that challenge sometime in the future as well.

“My main focus is just trying to get to the next level. That’s hard enough in itself. But at some point I’m going to go back and get my degree," Smith said. "I made a promise to my dad.”

Burman, after receiving the news of Smith's departure, wished the junior quarterback well in a university release.

“We wish Brett (Smith) and his family the best as he chases his dream to play at the NFL level,” Burman said. “Brett has been a great ambassador for our athletics department, our university and the state of Wyoming during his time as a Cowboy. We will miss him, and I know Wyoming fans and his teammates will miss him.

"When he contacted me late this afternoon, he said after talking with his family he felt the time was right for him to pursue a professional career. I thanked him for letting us know as soon as he had made his decision.”

The 6-foot-3, 206-pound Smith admitted that he has no idea when and where he will go in the 2014 NFL Draft on May 8-10. As long as he makes an NFL roster, though, it will be worth it.

“I just want an opportunity. I just want to go somewhere," Smith said. "I just want to be an NFL quarterback and try to be a good one. And whatever team, that doesn’t matter.”

Reach reporter Mike Vorel at Mike.Vorel@trib.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeVorel.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(24) Comments

  1. DK
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    DK - January 03, 2014 12:14 pm
    Brett will make it in the NFL. He will have a coach, and a line, a team. Now as for the Cowboys, I am excited about next year, and our new coach's plays tomorrow, it will be well worth the watch.!
  2. jaywaone
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    jaywaone - January 02, 2014 4:58 pm
    Okay, just because I don't have "pokes" or "Cowboy" or "WYO" in my name dosen't mean I am NOT a fan or that I am illiterate in football. On the contrary, I am and have been a Cowboy Fan for over 50 yrs since I grew up in Laramie and graduated the UW and have supported them every single year since. Your "small-time troll" comment says a lot about you. You have no clue as to who I am and just because my comment or opinions do not align with yours you call me a troll? Stuff-it! I'm not just someone like you who puts all of his/her hope into a no name division 2 coach. Wake up, I have history on my side Joe Glenn was just as decorated as Bohls and he was one of the worse coaches we have ever had and he damaged this football team more than Vic Koenning ever did. However I do hope you are right and I am wrong BUT again I do not just follow (I'm sure you were behind DC from the first seasons) someone who has never coached in the upper NCAA divisions. Christensen improved the talent level on this team by leaps and bounds over what Glenn had and recruited after 5 years. Bohls will be able to recruite the same lower level talent that was the make up of this team prior to DC. From all of your ramblings, I have to question your level of football literacy or more so your over all intelligence and literacy in anything! BTW Brett was the best QB Wyoming has ever had and the QB's who were on the team were riding the bench for a reason! And you call me illiterate...PLEASE!
  3. Right
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    Right - December 30, 2013 10:01 am
    I think Brett has clearly gotten word from various NFL teams about who is interested in him and where they would draft him. I don't think there is any question that he will get drafted, and probably no worse than 3-4th round. If he has that interest from the NFL, he would be an idiot to stay another year and risk injury.
  4. Sassy
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    Sassy - December 29, 2013 8:25 am
    Try this on...Bohls tells Smith he has to compete for his position . Bohls wanted to hear - Coach I will do anything it takes to play football at Wyoming. Instead Bohls hears Smith is going to walk.......This is a simple tactic used by Bohls to judge the loyalty of the players on the team.

    So what if Smith has to compete for a starting position , that is how competitive teams win games.

    Good Luck Brett.
  5. normal
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    normal - December 28, 2013 2:30 pm
    Oops, looks like I'm a bandwagon Kool Kat fan! Didn't read your earlier comments, sorry for repeating what you already stated. So...Yeah, I agree....
  6. CareyMitchell
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    CareyMitchell - December 28, 2013 2:04 pm
    The whispers I heard in Laramie last night are not that Bohl begged Smith to stay. On the contrary, he let Brett know he had to compete
    for the starting position with Jason Thompson. Makes sense, Brett thinks he may not win that slot and tries to shoot the moon rather than be a second stronger in Laramie. Now this all makes sense, except the part where a team actually drafts Smith.
  7. Kool Kat
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    Kool Kat - December 28, 2013 1:54 pm
    Yeah, I agree ... I'm a bandwagon Ute fan, now.
  8. billings cowboy
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    billings cowboy - December 28, 2013 1:10 pm
    As others have said, Brett should have stayed another year to earn his degree. NFL players' careers are much shorter compared with other occupations. Of course, if one earns millions during their NFL career, the future finances should be no problem. Further, I think the needs of the NFL this year are very high for quality quarterbacks, even if they are backups; probably more this year than next year, and this fact should have been a factor in his decision. So, Brett, give it all you have in terms of effort. Thank you for the memories! It isn't often that UW can attract a quality quarterback such as you with your skills/talent.
  9. normal
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    normal - December 28, 2013 12:57 pm
    "Austin-Carta Who...?"
    I can't wait to see what Jason Thompson brings to the offense. Better fit for the new "O" of Blohl's. Better arm as well, and let's not forget young Mr. Fort and group. I just hope and pray that we retain the QB coach.
    DC will "light-up" the PAC-12 as Utah's OC, I'll take on all bets! Not too difficult for me to figure out "who" was "coaching" Brett Smith with his decision, I'll take those bets as well.
  10. Surmisewise
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    Surmisewise - December 28, 2013 11:22 am
    Wish Bret the best in the NFL it's his decision and no one else’s. I’m sure his thought pattern centered on a philosophical change from a wide open offense(previous) to a power run attack(future). This obviously de-emphasizes the role of the quarterback hence why he thinks his “stock” will drop in the draft after the 2014 season. If this is the case then Bret knows what is best for Bret. My only disappointment is that Bret will not graduate on time with all of his classmates. Thanks Bret for all the excitement you provided for Wyoming fans during your tenure and best of luck to you.
  11. Kool Kat
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    Kool Kat - December 28, 2013 11:13 am
    Something tells me that Brett read the writing on the wall and just like ACS, faced back up to two other very good QBs [ie ... Brett Smith] coming in the mix. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated Brett's athleticism but, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
    Brett, thanks for making room for the other QBs coming up, I had no regrets supporting you and the Cowboys. But the sole regret is that Bohl did not retain Christensen in his other position, offensive coordinator.
    My hope is that underclassmen remain and do not leave, for a nucleus of experience.
  12. Wyopoke
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    Wyopoke - December 28, 2013 10:47 am
    Must stand with Conservation know it all on this one. I have a son the same age and while he doesn't always make the decision I would make his decisions are his as are the consequences. I wish Brett the best of luck and look forward to seeing him grow as a person and hopefully as an NFL QB. God Bless you Brett and thanks for the fond memories and good luck in your NFL quest!!
  13. conservation know it all
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    conservation know it all - December 28, 2013 10:26 am
    Wow, what a bunch of jerks commenting on this story. Brett is a great competitor, accurate and has an extremely quick release. You go to college to get a job, right? No other person graduating from UW in 2014 will make what Brett will make next year if he sticks with a pro team. He is very talented, the reason he will probably drop to lower rounds is that he has a concussion/injury history and only weighs 205. He is 3 inches taller than Drew Brees and 4 inches taller than Russell Wilson. I hope he does well in the NFL, but if not, I still really enjoyed watching him play for the Cowboys, he is the best QB Wyoming has ever had.

    CareyMitchell, Carr is projected to be the 3rd or 4th QB taken in the draft, likely high in the 1st round.

    I think he would improve his draft status by staying for his senior year, Quarterbacks typically need the development more than any other position, but it is his life. I'm glad we were entertained by him for 3 years.
  14. Triple BB
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    Triple BB - December 28, 2013 10:14 am
    The entire UW football program has turned into comedy central. Christensen sucked as a head coach. Tom Burman is a complete joke and now someone is telling Brett Smith he has a shot to make it in the NFL. The guy wouldn't make it as a starter for 90% of the D1college programs out there. The article stated Bohl went to Oregon to visit Smith before Christmas. You know the guy was on his knee's begging Smith not to do it. This just get's better and better...
  15. WyoSD
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    WyoSD - December 28, 2013 9:45 am
    I hope Smith does well in the NFL but sadly I don't think he will. I would be surprised if he even gets drafted. His arm in not even close to being NFL caliber. Even if he had a cannon his lack of size would knock him down to the 6th or 7th round. Given his lack of arm strength, lack of size and lack of playing in a pro style offense, I just don't see how any NFL team will use a draft pick on him. He will get a shot in an NFL camp but he is destined for the practice squad. I think he will regret his decision but I really hope I'm wrong. I hope he turns out to be Drew Brees.
  16. Sassy
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    Sassy - December 28, 2013 8:47 am
    I hope Brett gives this a second thought- even if it means he will ride the pine this season and get his degree
  17. pappy
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    pappy - December 28, 2013 8:35 am
    Sorry to see Brett go. On his good days he was fun to watch. Not sure who he got advise from but it isn't good advise. He isn't a pro style quarter back. Even great running QBs in the pros are learning the hard way they have a very short life span. A year in Blohl's drop back system with some QB runs would have benefited him. Even then he would be bottom tier at best.
  18. Pokes
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    Pokes - December 28, 2013 7:26 am
    Either you're a complete football illterate or a small-time troll. Probably both. Bohl will get things turned around in Laramie, whether you understand that or not. Christensen was a head coaching joke.
  19. KayFabe
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    KayFabe - December 28, 2013 6:33 am
    If my memory serves me right, I think the Chicago Bears convinced Sylvester Alexander into coming out early. What has he accomplished in the NFL? He is a career job boy for NFL practice squads. Brett Smith is a talented QB within the Mountain West Conference, but for those who believe Brett will light it up on Sunday afternoon, you are sadly mistaken. I think he will be lucky to make a roster in the NFL. The NFL is an entirely different game at that level, and only the best of the very best are successful in the NFL.
  20. Foster
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    Foster - December 28, 2013 6:06 am
    Brett, really sad to see you make this decision. You are a good quarterback, but another year and your degree would make you an even better person, which in turn leads to being a better quarterback. Did you really want to be at Wyoming or was it the only place that offered you a scholarship? Don't let the wind slam you in the behind as you exit.
  21. OldWyoCowgirl
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    OldWyoCowgirl - December 27, 2013 10:24 pm
    Good luck, Brett. Before you leave, don't forget to drop by and pay your fees for the classes you have taken for the past three years. Plus, the food, dorm room, clothes, and other perks you received while you were here as a student. It is very disappointing to invest in someone who uses the system. I am very disappointed to see you weren't really a student but just an athlete.
  22. jaywaone
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    jaywaone - December 27, 2013 9:21 pm
    Good for Brett! I figured he would or should enter the draft since they hired a sub-division coach AGAIN and think they will be successful! The Cowboys are going to be horrible for the next 5 years when they will fire the coach for having 5 losing seasons! Sorry to day but this is the most horrible news we could have! Hopefully he will do well and succeed because he wouldn't staying at Wyoming!
  23. Ronbo
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    Ronbo - December 27, 2013 8:54 pm
    Really sorry to here that Brett is leaving Wyoming. I have really enjoyed watching him play the last three years and it's understandable since I'm sure he doesn't want to learn a new offense his last year. I wish him the best and look forward to watching him on Sundays.
  24. CareyMitchell
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    CareyMitchell - December 27, 2013 8:14 pm
    Wow! He'll be sure to play third string for Ottawa Dragons! Or is it the Madrid Rangoons? He did see the tape if him against Carr right? When he put up seven points? And Carr can't even dream if mor than fifth round. Who is advising this kid?
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