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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Ainias Smith named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week

October 2, 2023


Ainias Smith finally took a breath of relief by taking everyone’s breath away with an unforgettable 82-yard punt return.

For his big-time score and accumulating 131 punt-return yards on the same field where his season ended in 2022, Smith was named Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following a 34-22 victory over Arkansas at AT&T Stadium.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the graduate wide receiver — who chose to forgo the NFL Draft this past year — had more yardage on returns (127) than the Razorbacks had offensively (125).

He paced the Aggies in all-purpose yards with 202 — 71 of which came on four receptions to lead A&M’s receivers. It was the first time the Missouri City native eclipsed 200 all-purpose yards in his five-year collegiate career.

Smith hauled in a 29-yarder from Max Johnson for his longest catch of the day. A 19-yard grab in the first quarter extended Smith’s streak of games with at least one reception to 32, the longest streak by an Aggie since Christian Kirk’s string of 39 (2015-17).

Needless to say, no play was bigger than his massive punt return with just under eight minutes remaining in the fourth.

“Man, it was a breath of relief, you know what I’m saying,” Smith said postgame. “Just to be able to come in, do what I did, it was great. I was just grateful to God, just gave all praise to Him.”

His last POTW honors — ironically — came in 2021 after scoring on a 95-yard punt return against South Carolina at Kyle Field.

Between then and now, Smith has experienced both highs and lows in his career.

But perhaps none more meaningful than taking his long-awaited breath of relief.

Discussion from...

Ainias Smith named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week

5,077 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by TAMU74
The Agly Duckling
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That is a SWEET tribute tweet! Bravo to whomever put that together!

And an excellent shot by Jamie Maury!
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Ainas is the quintessential example of a team player.
I hate the thought of losing him next year.
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