|Phil Sears / Associated Press|
|Syracuse RB Jerome Smith has rushed for 840 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.|
Syracuse running back Jerome Smith intends to bypass his senior season and turn pro, according to Syracuse coach Scott Shafer.
"He just felt it was his time," Shafer told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "He's all set to graduate, all set with school. He felt like he finished school, and there wasn't any reason to hang around anymore. He felt like he was ready."
Smith (6-0, 226 pounds), who will receive his degree in hospitality and food service management, will play his final game for the Orange in next Friday's Texas Bowl against Minnesota. He has rushed for 840 yards and 11 TDs this season; he ran for 1,176 yards but just three TDs in 2012. He saw scant time in 2011 after redshirting as a true freshman in 2010. Smith has had eight career 1000-yard games, which is ninth-most in school history.
Smith lacks speed and hasn't shown much as a receiver, but he has shown a willingness to run between the tackles. He is not a shifty back; he is a pure downhill runner who can punish some would-be tacklers. He seems a late-round pick unless he flashes some heretofore unseen speed in his pre-draft workouts.
Smith was a three-star prospect out of high school in Delaware and chose Syracuse over interest from Boston College and Wisconsin.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.