Bother Rice senior Ricky Smalling always wanted to be the best.
A 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame gave Smalling a good foundation to achieve that ambition. So did running a 4.69 in the 40-yard dash.
But Smalling also realized it takes more than physical ability to ascend to elite status as a wide receiver. He needed to critique his opponents, finding cracks in defenses that allowed him to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
“I studied a lot of film,” said Smalling, a Homewood resident. “That helped me get open a lot. By watching film, once the ball was in my hands, I knew what to do after the catch.”