CJ Smith played in two games as a true freshman in 2018 before suffering a season-ending injury. He was able to utilize his redshirt for the 2018 season and will be a redshirt freshman for the Huskers in 2018. Smith made his career debut on special teams against Purdue and saw action on defense and special teams at Northwestern, before suffering his injury.
Before Nebraska (Oxbridge Academy)
A consensus four-star recruit, Smith was one of the top players in the state of Florida for Oxbridge Academy and Coach Brendan Kent, leaving Oxbridge as the ThunderWolves’ all-time interceptions leader.
As a senior, Smith helped Oxbridge to a 10-2 record and the school’s first state title game appearance. He totaled 16 tackles on the season and caught eight passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns, as the ThunderWolves finished as the Florida Class 3A runner-up. Smith was named a 2017 MaxPreps small school preseason second-team All-American prior to his senior season. He earned Florida Class 3A all-state honors as a junior. He was also named one of the top 11 players in Palm Beach County prior to both his junior and senior seasons.
In his junior season, Smith registered 11 tackles with one interception on defense, and he led Oxbridge with 20 catches for 405 yards and seven touchdowns as a wide receiver. His 405 receiving yards were the third-highest total in school history. Entering his junior season, Smith was already Oxbridge’s all-time interceptions leader after picking off four passes as a freshman and recording a school-record six interceptions as a sophomore.
The 6-2, 205-pound Smith was ranked among the nation’s top 300 recruits by ESPN, which also listed him as the nation’s No. 19 safety. Smith had numerous scholarship offers and also took official visits to Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina and UCF.