Like so many perspective college football players around the country, Logan Smothers worked hard to ensure that he could graduate from high school early and get to college for the spring semester before most kids his age started.
He showed up at Nebraska as the school's quarterback signee for the 2020 class in January, benefited from winter conditioning and then, just after spring ball started … it all got shut down.
Smothers, a Muscle Shoals, Alabama, native, wasn't alone in having best-laid plans tossed into the wind due to the coronavirus pandemic, of course.
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Finally, seven months later, Smothers is several weeks into regular practices with the Huskers and, according to his position coach, adjusting to the college game quite nicely.
Certainly, spending most of the summer in Zoom meetings talking through schemes and the playbook has helped in at least some regards.
"His issue was he just didn't get very many reps in spring," quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco said. "We've done as good a job as we possibly can getting him caught up with the experience part of it. … Because of the delay, in kind of a weird, goofy-ass way, he's probably further ahead than he normally would be."
Smothers, like junior Adrian Martinez and redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey ahead of him, is a very good athlete. He was a decorated high school track athlete who completed 76% of his passes as a senior at Muscle Shoals for 2,204 yards and 28 touchdowns against seven interceptions while also rushing for 809 yards (8.7 per carry) and 13 more scores.
He's also in an interesting spot this year because the NCAA ruled that no fall-sport athletes will lose a year of eligibility. So this time next year, Smothers will still have five years to use.
That also means there's no need to worry about redshirting. That may not seem like a big deal for a player who is pretty clearly the No. 3 option at this point, but it could be.
Both Martinez and McCaffrey have dealt with injury issues during their time at Nebraska, and what's more, even if Smothers isn't asked to play extensively, the staff could put him in a game at an opportunistic moment (say, during a blowout) early in the season without worrying about whether they should save it for further on in the season just in case.
"It's a great opportunity for him and he would love to play without losing any eligibility," Verduzco said. "He's ready for that. With regards to his playbook test and all that craziness, he's sharp as a tack, so he's ready to go in terms of that. So if we decide to put him in a game … he knows what he's doing.
"That would be tremendous for him."