Phil Stukenborg of the MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL reports today that the son of Memphis-based FedEx founder and chairman Fred Smith, Cannon Smith, will start at quarterback for Memphis in its Saturday opener at Mississippi State.
(With Memphis O-Line, on-time delivery has never been more important)
Smith is an undersized 23-year-old redshirt sophomore who transferred from the Univ. of Miami after seeing little playing time with the Hurricanes. He beat out true freshman Ryan Williams despite the 6-5, 220-pound Williams going 15-of-17 for 186 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ spring game.
So why did rookie Memphis head coach Larry Porter pick Smith over Williams?
The Tigers will likely suffer through a subpar sason under first-year coach Porter, so tabbing the more seasoned Smith over freshman Williams is probably the right call to start the year. It also doesn’t hurt that Smith’s father is the largest single contributor to the school and athletic program.
If Memphis is as bad as some people think, Williams will probably get plenty of chances to play anyway. So its a convenient, sensible move by Porter.