And so ends the bewildering story of Conner Smith at Colorado State. Smith came to Fort Collins as a three-star recruit out of Richmond, Texas and found himself thrust into the starting role as a redshirt freshmen when Garrett Grayson and MJ McPeek were injured. Smith played with varying review in his six game stint. He provided a spark for an offense that seemed stagnant much of the 2012 season, but was hampered by turnover issues.
In six career games, Smith tallied six touchdowns and six interceptions while throwing for over 1000 yards. In five starts, he led the Rams to a 3-2 record, but the wins were more the result of the competition than Smith's production. He threw for a career high 326 yards in a loss against Wyoming despite being replaced for part of the game by an injured Grayson. He also played a role in clinching the Rams' fourth victory when he threw the game winning touchdown against New Mexico.
Prior to the 2013 season, Smith fought with Grayson in an open position battle for the keys to the offense. Smith had the build, arm strength, and velocity needed in a quarterback, but was ultimately outplayed by Grayson's football IQ and mobility. Smith made one appearance during the 2013 season in a blowout victory against Wyoming.
Smith has yet to decide where to transfer, but will have to sit a year due to NCAA rules if he goes to another FBS program. Smith has proven he can play on the FBS level and will have a chance to continue at the Division I level. With Smith gone, the Rams now have only one player with college experience in Garrett Grayson. Behind him are redshirt freshman Craig Leonard, freshmen Nick Stevens, and high school commit Coleman Key. The latter three will likely battle for the second spot behind Grayson leading up to the season.