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February 10, 2012TUSCALOOSA | Former University of Alabama tight end Brad Smelley was honored as the Montgomery Quarterback Club's college player of the year earlier this week.
The Tuscaloosa native, who played at American Christian Academy in high school, went with his family to receive the award at the club's annual awards banquet on Tuesday.
Program director David Bowen said the club typically chooses an athlete who has not only performed well on the field but has also displayed strong academics and character. As well, the club also tends to favor athletes that might not have received as much recognition as they were due.
"We look toward the guy who maybe doesn't have all the accolades but serves some," Bowen said. "Last year, we picked (Auburn lineman) Ryan Pugh, instead of Cam Newton. It's kind of subjective as far as criteria, but we don't always just pick the guy who has already won every award there is to win."
Smelley finished as Alabama's second-leading receiver in a national championship season last year with 34 receptions for 356 yards. His four touchdown catches led the team. The senior was especially active in the Alabama passing game late in the season, pulling in half his catches (17) for 183 yards and three scores over Alabama's last three games against Georgia Southern, Auburn, and finally LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.
"It was an honor to go down there and receive that award," Smelley said. "I thought it was kind of cool the way they did it, looking at the different things they go by to choose their player of the year."
For his career, Smelley caught 54 passes for 559 yards.
Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher was the guest speaker for the awards banquet.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.