PLAYER TO WATCH | FIU coach Ron Turner says TE Jonnu Smith has never looked better

SATURDAY ON ASN: FIU at UMass, 3:30 p.m. ET (click logo for local listings)

For FIU’s Jonnu Smith, this season is a coming out party.

After missing the end of last season and spring practice with a torn meniscus suffered in the Oct. 24 game against Old Dominion, Smith has returned to his status as a team leader and a player to watch.

Named to the John Mackey Watch List, the award given annually to the top tight end in college football, Smith has had 13 catches already this season, averaging nearly 12 yards per catch.

In Saturday’s loss to Maryland, Smith had 5 grabs for 70 yards.

While considered a small by NFL standards for a tight end, the 6-3, 230-pound Smith would love to play on Sundays next year. “I’d play center if I could play in the NFL,” he said.

His backup plan is to join the Secret Service to catch bad guys after he graduates in May.

FIU head coach Ron Turner calls Smith a leader both on and off the field.

Photo courtesy Sam Lewis/FIU Athletics