Don’t bother looking for No. 25 on the Wyoming roster
LARAMIE -- You've probably never heard of Dalys Smith before.
In fact, if you were to look at Wyoming's official roster online right now, he isn't even on it.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound true freshman from Mansfield, Texas is a walk-on wide receiver, who after taking a year off from football after high school, decided he didn't want to live with the regret of not giving it one last try.
He got the urge sitting on the metal bleachers inside a frosty War Memorial Stadium last winter. Despite COVID-19 wreaking havoc around the country, Wyoming allowed 7,000 fans to attend its two home games in 2020. Again, Dalys was in the stands when the Cowboys held their annual spring game in early May.
"Oh, yes," he said. "I knew this was the place I wanted to be."
You're probably wondering why a 20-year-old from Texas was nearly 950 miles away from home watching football games in Laramie.
Well, his brother is on the team -- Trey Smith. You've probably heard of him.
Trey, a graduate transfer from Louisville, who is preparing for his sixth college football season, never thought this opportunity would arise. After all, he's 25 years old. The NCAA granted an additional season due to the pandemic. In 2019, an ankle injury cut Trey's season short, offering a medical redshirt.
He didn't even expect to be in this position himself.
"I'm blessed that I get the chance to play with him this year," UW's running back said. "I've always been like one year ahead of him to where like I was leaving middle school and he was just getting there. So having him being a part of this team and getting a chance to see him develop has been really exciting."
Admittedly, Dalys didn't receive much playing time in high school. When the second-stringer did get on the field, he lined up at cornerback. He didn't have much game tape. In other words, saying he was lightly recruited would be an understatement.
Despite having a brother playing FBS football and his father, Jimmy Smith, who played in the NFL from 1992 to 2005, catching 862 passes for 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns, Dalys didn't make much of a name for himself in the overly talented Metroplex of north Texas.
"I played a couple games, but it wasn't a lot of reps," Dalys said. "Wish I had more playing time. Now, I'm just trying to get better."
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The first two weeks of fall camp in Laramie haven't been a walk in the park. Before he came out for this interview, Trey laughed and said Dalys was sitting in front of his locker motionless and exhausted.
Make no mistake, big brother has been keeping an eye on No. 25.
"I'm seeing more than what I expected," Trey said. "I've been on him the whole time he was on the couch (taking a year off). Like, 'get up and do something.' Just seeing where he's at now, understanding the playbook and seeing where his mind is physically and mentally, it just makes me happy. I'm glad coach Bohl got him on the team."
Speaking of Craig Bohl. I asked Wyoming's head coach if Dalys had any "Jimmy Smith" in him at the wide out position?
"That remains to be seen," he said with a grin.
Dalys said the moment he heard Trey was coming back for another college season, the dream of playing crept into his mind. After a short conversation with his mother, a couple of trips to the high plains and seeing the trajectory of the program, he was dead set on getting into a Wyoming uniform.
While he wishes Laramie had a better variety of restaurants -- he eats a lot -- Dalys said this is exactly where he is supposed to be.
"This is a great place," he said. "There are a lot of views and great people. Really nice people up here."
The last time Dalys hauled in a pass from a quarterback on his own team was his sophomore year of high school. Rust, admittedly, has been hard to shake off early in camp though he said the speed of the game is starting to slow down a bit. Despite having a father who is the most decorated receiver in Jacksonville Jaguars history, Dalys said the advice has been limited.
Strive to be great.
Pay attention to details.
While dad might not be handing out the secrets of the trade quite yet, Trey has been a constant in little brother's ear. Whether that's watching film, quizzing him at home or showing him the ropes on the practice field, Trey warned Dalys this wouldn't be easy.
"I was telling him, 'you got to work hard if you really want to get on this field because there are some ballers and there are some there are some guys that are going to smack you in the face and tell you about it later on,'" Trey said. "'So, you know, you got to get your weight up. You just got to play your heart out and compete.'"
That's the plan.
"I'm getting there, but there's a lot of work to do," Dalys smiled. "We'll get there."