FARGO-Former North Dakota State cornerback C.J. Smith shrugged his shoulders Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Fargodome when asked if anything Carson Wentz has done in his first three starts for the Philadelphia Eagles was surprising. The 3-0 start, being the first rookie quarterback since 1970 to win his first two games and throw no interceptions in Week 2 and earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in Week 3 just got a shrug.
Wentz has thrown 82 passes to start his career without an interception. New England quarterback Tom Brady owns the record of 162 consecutive attempts without an interception to start his career. Business as usual, according to Smith.
"It's normal," Smith said. "We expect that of him. He prepares like he did here, so everything he is doing I expect that out of him because it's Carson."
If anyone knows, it's Smith. He played five years at NDSU with Wentz and is now on the Eagles practice squad.
"It's just a testament to how hard we work (at NDSU)," Smith said. "We're not trying to prove anything to anyone. I think it just it's something that we do. I think it's going to be more common now, having players drafted every year (from NDSU) and do great things in the NFL."
Smith said nothing about Wentz has changed, except the exposure.
"He's the same Carson," Smith said. "He's just like he was here. He works hard and he studies more than anyone else."
When Smith found out that Sam Bradford had been traded to the Minnesota Vikings and the quarterback spot belonged to Wentz, while the jaws dropped around the rest of the football world, Smith shrugged his shoulders again.
"We expect that of him," Smith said. "We expect him to perform at a high level in everything that he does. He's the epitome of Bison football. It's great to see. Players respect North Dakota State a lot more now. They watched the game against Iowa. I always had to tell them, 'Don't sleep on the Bison,' but I think they respect us more now."