Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chris Smith will be game-time decision

Junior receiver Chris Smith's injured hamstring once again kept him out of practice on Thursday. He will make the trip to Lehigh for Saturday's road opener and there is a chance he can still play but Yale coach Tom Williams said that decision won't be made until he goes through pre-game drills on Saturday.

"I am just working a lot in the training room with (trainer) Dave (DiNapoli) and doing a lot of strengthening exercises trying to be ready to go for Lehigh. I am making the trip, hopefully it will loosen up for game time and I’ll be ready to go.

"It’s been really frustrating, even in meetings and watching film (knowing) that there is a possible chance that I might not be on the field, it is really tough especially in such a tough game. Lehigh is ranked, they are a good team. I was excited to prove that we are legitimate I-AA contender."

Smith came out of the Cornell game after pulling up lame while returning the second-half kickoff. However, he said he first had issues with the hamstring practice two days before the game.

"Actually it happened on Thursday and in the game, I ran a go route and at one point it really tightened up," Smith said. "On that kick return, I tried to go out there and play through it."

If Smith can't go, either former starter Gio Christodoulou or Cameron Sandquist would likely get the call when Yale goes to its three-receiver sets while Deon Randall would replace Smith on kickoffs.

"That is the great thing about our receiving corps, from top to bottom, I think we are an explosive unit and we have a lot of playmakers," said Smith, who is tied for the team lead with 135 receiving yards and is ranked fifth nationally with an average of 32.7 yards per kickoff return. "You have Gio, Allen Harris, Deon, Cam, Brandis (Yarrington), Jackson (Liguori), we’ve got guys who aren’t even starting who could be starting on other Ivy League teams. It is frustrating for me personally but as far as the team, I don’t think it is a drop off at all."

One receiver not in position to pick up snaps if Smith is out is freshman Ty Hutchison, who recently underwent surgery to repair a detached retina. Hutchison, a standout on Yale' JV squad, will miss the rest of the season. He addressed the team at the conclusion of Thursday's practice to give an update on his condition.

"He said he had 100 guys all asking him the same question so he wanted to talk to all of them at once," Williams said of why Hutchison spoke to the team on Thursday.

Williams said that seven freshmen will be making the trip to Lehigh - defensive back Nick LaTesta, punter Kyle Cazzetta, running back Wynston Bouknight, defensive end EJ Conway, linebacker Tyler Manu as well as offensive linemen Ben Carbery and William Chism.

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