Wildcat senior Smith has one thing left to prove
Trevyn Smith, running back at Weber State. Monday, August 17, 2009. Photo illustration by MARK JOHNSTON/Daily Herald

Trevyn Smith asks the waiter how big the lunch bowl is at P.F. Chang's restaurant. Football season is at hand and to withstand the hits he will absorb during a season, Weber State's star running back must eat.

After he is convinced it is big enough, he orders the lunch bowl, but just in case he puts down a few lettuce wraps for an appetizer. Between bites he talks about his college football career. He wonders aloud.

"When is it enough? I mean, what does it take to get to the league?"

It's a rhetorical question.

Smith tries to answer it himself. "I mean, what do I have left to prove?"

In his first three years at Weber State, Smith rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each season. With that kind of success the next question is, "Can a running back who is 5-foot-9 and 210 pounds play in the NFL?"

He has the answer to that question.

"Just look up Brian Westbrook's numbers in college and compare them to mine," he says. "You'll be shocked. They are almost identical."

True enough. Westbrook, the all-around running back for the Philadelphia Eagles, had similar college numbers at Villanova. Westbrook won the Walter Payton Award his senior year after racking up 2,283 rushing and receiving yards along with 29 touchdowns. Last year as a junior, Smith had 2,365 yards (rushing and receiving) with 28 touchdowns.

Another question to think about. Even though he has dominated at each level he's played at, is that enough to get a shot?

"I know I'll get a (NFL training) camp, but it will crush me if I didn't get drafted. I don't know, what do you think? Do I have a chance?" he asks as his lunch arrives.

There is a lot on Smith's mind these days as he prepares for his senior year at Weber State.

"This season has so much to do with the rest of my life," he said. "I can feel it, there's a lot of pressure."

In a way, the pressure Smith is feeling is the ultimate compliment. It may seem like baggage now, but what kind of pressure would there be if Smith hadn't done much in his first three years at Weber State?

Instead, Smith had breakout season as a freshman. He started as a backup running back, doubted by some of his own college coaches, but by the third game of the season in his freshman year he started getting some consistent touches. He finished the season with 1,084 yards rushing and averaged 5.6 yards per carry.

Weber State had a star on its hands. Smith rushed for 1,290 yards as a sophomore and last year as a junior he emerged as one of college football's most underrated players. To give you an idea of what kind of impact he had on his team consider this: The Division I leader in touchdowns scored was 22. Smith finished with 28.

But the size of the numbers he's put up is often overlooked by the size that is recorded on a tape measure.

"I think there's a lot of people who doubt me in the league still. I don't understand why. I guess the same reason why they doubted me that I could play Division I," Smith said. "I'm not the right size. I don't know. There is a lot of guys who are 5-9 in the league (NFL). A lot of tailbacks. I was looking at a list of the greatest tailbacks, we had a list of them and a bunch of them were 5-9. I don't think it matters."

Smith has the tools to play at the next level. He is strong. He can bench 365. He's quick, he has been timed as low as 4.7 in the 40 and perhaps most impressive is he knows how to run. With another 1,000 yard season, he will become the first running back in Weber State history to rush for over 1,000 yards in four straight seasons.

And to think Utah could have had him. BYU could have had him. Heck, Utah State could have had him. But no one wanted the running back who led the state in rushing with 2,108 yards and averaged a staggering 9.1 yards per carry as a senior at Springville.

So he took the best offer he had and signed with Weber State.

"After I signed with them, I cried all the way home," Smith confessed. "My dream wasn't to play at Weber State. It was to play Division I football."

Weber State is a NCAA Division I FCS football school. Players don't play in the spotlight at Weber State. It's more of a flood light, but at least it is football and Smith is as football as you get.

Even though he plays in the Big Sky Conference, he can list a number of players who are in the NFL from Big Sky schools. Speaking of the Big Sky, he calls Montana the craziest fans/stadium he's ever played in. He says they are more spirited than Utah or Hawaii. More raucous than Boise State.

"At Montana, they spit on you and throw beer on you," he said. "But they respect me. For some reason they treat me good."

Smith will have a chance to check out the crowds at some Mountain West Conference teams this year since Weber State plays at Wyoming and at Colorado State, a pair of games Smith knows he must be ready for. Racking up yards against Division I teams could help NFL scouts take notice and could help his career.

He's at a time in his life where his family is counting on him to make a career. He says he is majoring in technical sales and marketing. He is now 23. He's married and has two children. His daughter Ryan Rae was diagnosed with optic-nerve hypoplasia leaving her virtually blind. The couple is trying to get a stem cell transplant to help her have vision she needs to lead a normal life.

Smith knows that another big season at Weber State could help him get a shot at the NFL and secure a financial future for his family. He has his sights set on the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in FCS football each year.

"Maybe if I get that (award) it will be enough," he says as he finishes up his peppered steak bowl and declines on dessert. "I'm tired of it. I don't know what I'm supposed to do."

Smith knows the line of those that doubt him has been and continues to be like the line at opening of another Batman movie. It is those group of doubters that are responsible in large part for his success, but at the same time it has become a grind to have to prove himself year after year, after year.

"I don't know what I have to do. I'll get the Walter Payton award, then I'll go play in the arena league," he says with a laugh.

Smith then answers his own question.

"When do you know that you have done enough to go (to the NFL)?"

"It's never enough for some people."

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