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Defensive player to watch: Derrell Smith

Kansas State has gone up against some imposing middle linebackers this season, and they will do so once again in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Derrell Smith, a 6-foot-1, 232-pound senior, has been a menace in the middle for Syracuse’s defense this season.

Here are the numbers he piled up in 12 games: 103 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three fumbles forced, three fumbles recovered, 1.5 sacks and an interception.

In the Orange’s blitz-happy system, he is versatile enough to do it all. And when I say versatile, I mean versatile. Before settling in at middle linebacker under coach Doug Marrone, Smith also spent time dabbling as a running back, defensive end and outside linebacker. (more…)