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  Georgia Tech running back Dontae Smith was scrolling through Twitter on July 20 when he came upon something he didn't expect to see - his own name. That was the day he was named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top running back. "I'm on Twitter and I see it, and I'm like, 'Whoa," Smith said. If you're a returning starter at running back at a power-conference school, it's perhaps not a big deal. There are 75 running backs on the list (although somehow former Tech All-American Jahmyr Gibbs, now at Alabama, was omitted). But for Smith, who last season was a third-string running back behind Gibbs and Jordan Mason, it was a big deal to be recognized. "I'm extremely thankful," Smith said. "And I'm going to go out there and chase it and try to win that award. It is a motivation."

Smith, who ran for 378 yards last season and averaged a team-high 5.6 yards per carry, was bursting forth with optimism and confidence about the season ahead for him and his team, even as expectations for the Yellow Jackets are low in the wake of three consecutive three-win seasons. Smith poured out his belief at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte two weeks ago. "We are going to win," Smith said. "Now, the realistic goal is, what bowl game? We want to make a bowl game, so we're going to have to win more games than we have been." - Atlanta Journal Constitution


rJr/2024 RB Dontae SmithGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution



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