OGDEN Trevyn Smith was a self-admitted wild man.
Away from home and living the life of a college football player, Smith found himself the life of the party around Weber State's campus.
"I liked to party, and I had a lot of fun," Smith said of his first two years with the Wildcats. "I don't regret it at all. But I think that's not what I really wanted."
What he wanted, Smith said, was stability. He found it in his wife, Erica, whom he married toward the end of his second year at WSU. He's also finding it with his soon-to-be-born daughter, Ryan Rae.
"I think I actually didn't like to go out and party all the time," he said. "I think I actually needed to settle down."
Marriage, Smith said, has changed his lifestyle if not his personality.
"I've definitely grown," he said. "My wife has humbled me, and my baby is definitely my inspiration to be a better man. I think I've changed a lot."
Ryan Rae Smith is due to be born on Nov. 28. The Wildcats, just 1-4 this season and 1-2 in Big Sky Conference play, are not a likely candidate for the FCS (formerly I-AA) playoffs this year. But stranger things have happened in the Big Sky, and WSU is entering this week's game at Northern Colorado with a nice boost in confidence after a 26-7 win over Sacramento State.
Before getting married, Smith was twice cited for minor consumption of alcohol and, though the incidents were not widely publicized, dealt with forms of discipline within the team.
The more mature Trevyn Smith is a welcome addition to the Wildcat roster, WSU coach Ron McBride said.
"We need a guy with his kind of fire," McBride said. "He's got a swagger that we want on our team."
That swagger at times crosses the line to cockiness. Smith started the season with an ambitious goal of 2,000 yards on the ground.
He had a nagging hamstring injury, though, and his season didn't get off to a good start. With WSU's quarterbacks also struggling, opposing defenses loaded up the box with players, and the Wildcats were unable to move the ball on the ground effectively.
All that changed last week, though, when Cameron Higgins threw four touchdown passes and the Wildcats led by Smith's 110 yards had 188 rushing yards.
One factor in the rushing resurgence might have been a "demotion" from starter to sub for Smith. Seeking to light a fire in the team in any way possible, McBride shuffled the two-deep and Smith found himself on the sidelines for the first offensive possession in a game or two with senior Adrian Conway getting the start.
"It definitely lit my fire," Smith said. "It helped me out. I understood it, but I didn't like it." A year older than he was when he hit campus as a party machine last season, Smith's maturity is much needed with the young 'Cats. Though the line is veteran, the skill position players are quite inexperienced.
With Smith settled down and a family man, the Wildcats may have a bright future."It's nice," he said. "I think I needed to go through some of the tough times I went through. But I'm happy to be more grounded."
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