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C.J. Smith commits to NAIA Broncos

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Athletic RB will sign with Hastings next month; will join Mustangs teammate Cullen Martinez in the recruiting class.
C.J. Smith referred to it as “a ride.”

Next stop on the ride: Hastings College.

The Mullen senior back committed to the Broncos on Thursday. He will sign with them in April, Mustangs head coach Jeremy Bennett said.

“This is great for C.J.,” he said. “They kind of came in late, they watched film, they really liked him and the coach’s comment was ‘We don’t get players like C.J. out here very often.’ And I think he will love it out there.”

Smith made his announcement on Twitter.

In 2020, the athletic, quick Smith, 5-foot-9, 195 pounds, rushed for 272 yards and caught eight passes for 126 yards. He added 135 yards in kickoff returns for an average of 88.8 all-purpose yards per game over the abbreviated six-game schedule. He had two touchdowns.

Bennett said Smith will be a running back for the Broncos and can also line up as a slot receiver.

“He’ll continue to play football, but more importantly he’ll get that college degree,” the coach said.
Smith will join fellow Mustangs senior Cullen Martinez, a guard, at Hastings, and compete in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, NAIA, indicative of the multiple levels available that Bennett said the Mustangs should be pursuing for their players.

“For us, it’s real important to create pipelines,” the coach said. “Not everyone is a Division I football player. This shows the rest of the kids just how working hard is important and that we can find a spot for you. This is about fit.”