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NFL Draft 2014: Wyoming QB Brett Smith declares for the draft

Wyoming quarter Brett Smith is giving up his final year of eligibility and will test his skills by declaring for the NFL Draft.

Cooper Neill

The Wyoming Cowboys are going into full rebuilding mode as three-year starting quarterback Brett Smith has elected to leave one year of eligibility on the table and enter the NFL Draft.

The decision to go pro was not easy one for Smith:

"It was extremely tough, that's for sure. But I just felt like with the entire situation of things, I made a decision that being in the NFL was my absolute dream, and I just wanted to pursue it," Smith told the Star-Tribune. "That was basically all that went into this decision. You look at a lot of things, but what it came down to was that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming an NFL quarterback and I didn't want to do anything else but that."

The coaching change was not the reason why Smith decided to leave Wyoming early, and Smith made that clear.

"Being completely honest, that had no effect whatsoever," Smith said. "And I know, looking from the outside in, a lot of people might come to that conclusion. But Coach [Craig] Bohl was such a great guy and such a stand-up guy, and I met with him quite a few times before I left.

Bohl did make a trip to Smith in his home town on Salem, Ore., to try to recruit him to stay for his senior year at Wyoming. Smith has a lifelong dream of making a NFL roster and the new coaching understood and respected Smith's decision.

Smith has not yet set up a plan to prepare for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft, including not hiring an agent yet.

During Smith's three-year career at Wyoming, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 8,834 yards for 76 touchdowns; he also had a big hand in the running game by rushing for 1,531 yards and another 20 touchdowns.

According to Mocking the Draft's quarterback rankings, Smith is the No. 14 rated quarterback, meaning he is likely a late-round pick. However, his athleticism could be attractive to some teams who want to emulate what Russell Wilson is doing with the Seattle Seahawks.