• Ben Hall

Louisiana Tech Quarterback J'Mar Smith Talks About College Career and Expectations for Final Season

Since his redshirt sophomore season, J’Mar Smith has been the starting quarterback for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

J’Mar Smith is a 6’1, 226-pound quarterback from Meridian, Mississippi. He attended Meridian High School. Smith committed to Louisiana Tech before his senior season in high school.

"For me, playing football for LaTech gave me an opportunity to pursue my education and graduate, plus it gives me an opportunity to pursue my athletics career also,” Smith said. “As for being from Meridian, I take pride in representing where I’m from because many don’t get the chance that some of us student athletes have gotten. I try to present myself in a way that portrays a positive message to everyone supporting me. Just trying to do the right thing!”

Smith redshirted as a freshman. But as a redshirt freshman started one game for the Bulldogs. He has been the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs since the beginning of his redshirt sophomore season.

Being a starter for a good team early in his career forced Smith to mature quickly.

“Being a starter at an early age had its ups and downs but mostly ups. It helped me mature as a player and a person,” Smith said “Over the time, I grew into a better quarterback and a better human being by gaining and learning the life lessons that come with sports. Being a young quarterback forces you to understand what you have to do to put the team in the best situation to win! It also helped me mature quicker and leave some of the negative aspects of life behind me, moving forward to positive things.”

Being a starting quarterback so early also has forced Smith to step up and become a leader.

“Being a leader isn’t for everyone, you have to know how to follow before you lead,” Smith said. “I understood that and tried to learn everything I could for the two starts QB before me (Jeff Driskel and Ryan Higgins). You have to hold yourself accountable so the team can depend and count on you to do your job. Having the guys buy in to what you all want to accomplish is big and important so everyone can be on the same page, grinding and working to be champions.”

Since being the starting quarterback, Smith has led Louisiana Tech to two bowl championships. In 2017, Smith helped lead the Bulldogs to a 51-10 victory over SMU. J’Mar Smith was named MVP of the 2017 Frisco Bowl.

“Being the MVP of the Frisco Bowl meant a lot, not only for me but for my family as well,” Smith said. “Winning that bowl and mvp was special because it was the first bowl win that I had as a starter, AMAZING FEELING! Just seeing the happiness on my families face meant I had done something great!”

In 2018, Smith led the Bulldogs to a 31-14 victory over Hawaii in the 2018 Hawaii Bowl.

In his career at Louisiana Tech, Smith has 33 passing touchdowns, 11 rushing touchdowns, 6,546 passing yards, and 592 rushing yards.

Entering his redshirt season, Smith could help lead Louisiana Tech to another bowl game.

“My expectations are to do great things, enjoy the time I have with my teammates and make this season special,” Smith said when asked about his expectations heading into his final collegiate season.

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