STILLWATER — Just before Oklahoma State’s fall camp, running backs coach Jemal Singleton wouldn’t go as far as anointing Jeremy Smith as the team’s starting back for the upcoming season.
Singleton made mention that the senior from Tulsa who has been backup to Joseph Randle — now playing for the Dallas Cowboys — still has to prove his merit for the job.
“It’s not that Jeremy Smith is set in stone as our starter. He’s gotta earn it, he’s gotta work for it,” Singleton said. “I love having Desmond Roland nipping at his heels if he’s not doing it right.”
But battling for the most carries is nothing new to Smith. He did that with Randle for the past two years. So he’s not going to let the chance of finally getting to start for OSU’s explosive offense to go to waste.
“I think coach Singleton still wants to see that work come out of me. That’s never going to decrease, it will most likely increase with how hard I’ll work,” Smith said. “I’ve been going out there every day, showing them that things are going to stay the same.”
Being Oklahoma State’s starting running back isn’t Smith’s ultimate goal, however. He’s looking big picture — as in Big 12 Conference picture.
“No. 1 rusher in the Big 12. Nothing will drop off,” said Smith, whose predecessor Randle led the league last year. “I will be the top running back in the conference. Credit coach Singleton for being a great coach and people are going to see that. They’ve seen it the last few years, but they are going to continue to see it this year.”
The biggest concern surrounding Smith, however, is his health. The running back hasn’t been the poster child for staying healthy, missing parts of the past two years injuries.