Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers have the best defensive player in the Big 12 Conference right now and it’s not even close. On the most imposing, dominant defense in the nation, sophomore Spear Tykee Smith stands out above the rest.
Smith, originally from Philadelphia, PA, had a tremendous freshman season last year, finishing as the 5th leading tackler on the team and an All Big 12 Honorable Mention. However, this season has been a different story entirely. Tykee Smith has gone to the next level!
Watching the Mountaineers play, it’s easy to see that Smith plays the game at another speed than other players. He’s literally everywhere on the field. However, Smith doesn’t only pass the eyeball test, the numbers also back up the fact that he’s the top defender in the conference.
According to Pro Football Focus, Smith has the top Coverage rating of all defensive backs in the country (90.5) and is #2 in the nation behind only Alabama’s Patrick Surtain in PFF Overall Defensive Grades (87.4). This is among 341 eligible defensive backs in all of college football.
If Smith continues this performance over the Mountaineers’ final two regular season game and a potential bowl game, he will absolutely earn First Team All Big 12 and likely First Team All American as a sophomore.
Tykee Smith blew up against TCU last year — and he's quickly shed a block and blows up this screen early. @TykSmith is so dominant pic.twitter.com/VMFUN3aPKg
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) November 14, 2020
Following West Virginia’s dominating defensive effort against TCU, Head Coach Neal Brown said the following about Smith: “Tykee is a guy that was captain for us today and I don’t think he gets talk about enough. I think he potentially can be as good at his position as anybody in our league. He plays at a high level. I think Tykee Smith is a player and can play anywhere He’s special at that position.”
Perhaps Tykee Smith hasn’t gotten the attention from the national media that he deserves yet, but he is a player that will continue to gain recognition and soon become a name that everyone in the Big 12 Conference and around the nation will soon know.