Miami football wide receiver Key’Shawn Smith was named a midseason All-American as a kick returner this week by CBS Sports. Smith leads the nation averaging 34.4 yards per kickoff return and returned one for a TD versus Middle Tennessee State. Smith had another TD return called back because of a penalty.
Including yards from scrimmage, Smith is fourth in the ACC and 38th nationally averaging 119.2 all-purpose yards per game. Because of Smith and one kickoff return for 39 yards by Brashard Smith, Miami leads the nation averaging 34.69 yards per kickoff return this season. Smith has also contributed as a receiver.
With his duties as the primary Miami kickoff returner, Smith has often had his snaps limited this season as the coaches have said he was in their words banged up. As a starting WR, Smith has 12 receptions for 192 yards and two TDs. Smith is part of an elite group of special teams for the Miami football team in 2022.
Andres Borregales has made 10 of his 13 field goal attempts, all 22 extra points and is averaging 64.51 yards on kickoffs. Louis Hedley is averaging 45.2 yards per punt, 43.87 net yards per punt and has eight inside the 20. Miami is tied for ninth nationally allowing 1.29 yards per punt return.
All of the kickoff returns came in three games this season. Smith had three returns for 184 yards in the season opener versus Bethune-Cookman, seven for 217 and the TD against Middle Tennessee and five for 115 versus North Carolina. Smith should continue to push to earn all-American status at the end of the season.
Four of the final six opponents for Miami rank in the bottom eight in opponent kickoff return average. Smith should have multiple opportunities for a big return in the second half of the 2022 season. That begins this Saturday versus Duke. Duke is seventh in the ACC allowing 19.33 yards per kickoff return.