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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Running down a dream

Monday, January 8, 2001

No NFL or XFL for local All-American, but Ben Smith heads back to BVU with his hopes intact.

Catching up with Ben Smith has never been easy. Whether tearing up the track or plowing through the hole on the football field, Smith is traditionally a step ahead of the competition.

So where is Buena Vista's former All-American tailback a year removed from his records-shattering senior season? He's more recently been doing all his running in the streets of our nation's capital.

Although the Redskins could use the help, his interests in Washington, D.C., are of a more practical nature. For now.

Smith has just finished a semester-long internship in the office of Kenneth Robinson, a small but very reputable law firm. In essence, he's traded the football field for the filing cabinet.

But his dreams of playing football are still alive.

Good showings in tryouts for pro scouts last year left Smith without a spot in camp, but has given him reason for optimism in the future. Smith was snuffed by the upstart XFL after recording the top time in the "pro-shuttle," a drill utilized to measure lateral movement and agility, and the third fastest 40-yard dash time among the players in his tryout group.

Though he was passed over by the XFL for higher-profile, big-school players, Smith received good exposure that has led to correspondence with the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, that may lead to an invitation to training camp next summer. He has employed an agent, Dennis Bishop of the Winston & Strom Law Firm, to help guide him into the next level.

The possibility also exists that he might venture overseas to the NFL Europe. The various pass-oriented arena leagues popping up around the world lack the presence of a true tailback position. And Smith is reluctant to return to the defensive backfield where he started at strong safety as a junior for the Beavers after transferring from Iowa Central Community College.

Read the rest of this article in the 1/06 Pilot Tribune.



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