Growing up in your home city and playing high school and college ball for the hometown college can put a lot of pressure on a player. Breylin Smith, the graduate quarterback for the University of Central Arkansas, is one such individual.
Smith started playing football in the fourth grade and then played all the way up until his senior year of high school at Conway High.
“It was so much fun,” Smith said about playing at Conway High. “ It was a great opportunity. I got to know some of the guys I played with and still talk to quite a bit now.
When Smith arrived at the University of Central Arkansas he redshirted his first year and played behind quarterback Hayden Hildebrand. His quarterback coach – now the head coach – Nathan Brown played a big role in him coming to UCA and the success that he has had as a quarterback.
“When I first got here [UCA] in 2016 he [Brown] was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach,” Smith said. “He played a huge part in my journey to UCA.”
Breylin’s first season as the starting quarterback ended before it could get started. In a game against Sam Houston State, Smith went down with a season-ending injury and that season Smith had to sit on the sidelines and watch. It wasn’t an easy experience for him.
“It was definitely tough,” Smith said. “ I learned a lot through that process. Sitting on the sideline and just watching your guys and your brothers go out there and compete, it was tough for sure.”
Smith came back the next season to play, feeling better, and he said that he feels fully restored this season.
One word that can describe Smith when it comes to his approach to the game of football is calm.
Smith led the Bears last season to several fourth-quarter comebacks to win a game and then this season he has done it two more times against Austin Peay State University and Missouri State.
Smith, when it comes to big moments, plays calm and is the leader on the field. Coach Brown has said that Smith is what makes the offense go and when he is on point so are they.
When lights are bright and the moment is big you want Smith to be under center in the fourth quarter. “Once you’re in that moment there is only one option and that is to win,” Smith said.
In the 2019-20 season, Smith truly exploded onto the scene and put his name in the UCA record books. He broke the record for single-season pass attempts (490), pass completions (316), passing yards (3704), and tied for first for most passing touchdowns (32).
Smith graduated last May and is now in the UCA master’s program and due to COVID-19, he will have an extra year of eligibility to play as the quarterback for the Bears in the 21-22 season.