Elerson Smith learned from one of the best
When New York Giants’ rookie Elerson Smith first arrived at Northern Iowa, he only weighed 190 pounds and was slated to play tight end. But once former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bryce Paup started coaching him in 2018, things changed.
“The first time I had him run a stunt where the defensive end loops back in underneath the defensive tackle, he stopped,” Paup said on Big Blue Kickoff Live. “It was just like a calf seeing a new fence or a deer in the headlights. I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to take a while.’ But he just didn’t know what he didn’t know. He was very raw.
“In high school (Smith was a first-team all-state selection as a tight end and second-team at defensive end at Minneapolis South), they just let him go, come off the edge, and he just beat most people with speed. He was so long and quick that a lot of high school kids couldn’t even stay with him. The transformation has been pretty spectacular.”
Paup played his college ball at NIU and then was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 6th round back in 1990. He also played for the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings. He had a long career that lasted until 2000.
Like Smith, Paup played outside linebacker, so he knows what it takes to get the job done in the NFL. He was able to help Smith gain 70 pounds, which in the end was a part of him being able to get selected in the 4th round of the NFL Draft.
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