Height: 6'2"
Weight: 210
Year: Redshirt Freshman
City/State: River Ridge, La.
High School: John Curtis


Honors & Awards

  • Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches, 2012)

Safety P.J. Smith produced an outstanding senior season in 2012 and teamed with fellow senior Daimion Stafford to give NU one of the Big Ten's top safety tandems. Smith completed his career in the Capital One Bowl where he played in his 53rd career game.
The play of Smith in the secondary helped Nebraska lead the nation in opponent pass completion percentage and rank in the top 10 in pass efficiency defense and passing yards allowed. Only three opponents completed better than 50 percent of their pass attempts.

Smith finished the season with 86 tackles to rank third on the team behind Stafford and senior middle linebacker Will Compton. Smith had 46 solo stops and his eight tackles for loss ranked second on the team. Smith had at least eight tackles in six games in 2012, including a career high with 12 tackles against Michigan State. He also intercepted three passes to give him seven career interceptions, and Smith added five pass breakups in 2012.

Smith was honored for his play, earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades.

2012 (Senior)
Southern Miss:
Made his fifth career start in NU's season opener... teamed with Baker Steinkuhler to pick up his first career sack when the two Blackshirts took down Anthony Alford for a four-yard loss in the fourth quarter. UCLA: Tied Daimion Stafford and Cameron Meredith for second on the team in tackles with eight... all eight tackles were solo stops to set a new career high... topped his previous best of five at Oklahoma State in 2010... also registered his first pass breakup since 2010. Arkansas State: Led the Blackshirts with nine tackles, including four solo stops... Recorded NU's first interception of the year with a pick in the first quarter for his fifth career interception... recorded one of NU's three sacks for a two-yard loss... totaled two TFL's for three yards. Idaho State: Started his fourth straight game and had one tackle in limited snaps in the 73-7 win over ISU. Wisconsin: Totaled three tackles, including a career-high tying two TFL's... added a career-high two pass breakups. Ohio State: Tied Eric Martin and Will Compton for the team lead in tackles with nine, including three solo stops. Northwestern: Tied Daimion Stafford for the team lead in tackles with eight, including five solo stops... produced one TFL for a four-yard loss. Michigan: Grabbed his second interception of the season and sixth of his career... returned the pick 53 yards to setup Brett Maher's first field goal in the third quarter and provided the winning score while going up 10-6... helped hold Michigan to 93 yards passing. Michigan State: Led the Huskers with a career-high 12 tackles, topping his previous best of 11 against Texas in 2010... notched seven solo stops and added a pair of TFLs... registered one pass breakup, one of six for the Blackshirts... helped hold MSU to 9-of-27 passing for 123 yards. Penn State: Produced five tackles, including two solo stops... recorded his first QB hurry of the season. Minnesota: Played in his 50th career game as a Husker... totaled two tackles... helped hold the Gophers to 90 yards on 10-of-28 passing. Iowa: Tied Andrew Green for second on the team with eight tackles... helped hold James Vandenberg to 92 passing yards in the 13-7 win. Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship): Finished with four total tackles, all solo stops. Georgia (Capital One Bowl): Made seven tackles, including six solo stops... stopped UGA threat on game's opening drive with his third interception of the season and the seventh of his career.

2011 (Junior)
Smith played in 11 games and made a start at Wyoming. He finished the year with 33 tackles (21 solo), including 10 special teams tackles. Smith had an interception in Nebraska's victory at Wyoming and forced a fumble at Wisconsin.  

Smith had five tackles in the opener against Chattanooga, and also recorded five tackles against Fresno State, all on special teams. He made a season-high seven tackles at Wyoming, then had six solo stops at Wisconsin. He had five total tackles, including four solo stops, at Minnesota, marking his fourth game with at least five tackles.

Smith has shown the versatility to play either safety spot during his NU career and in 2011, he was second for Nebraska in special teams tackles. 

2010 (Sophomore)
Smith played in all 14 games with starts against Idaho, Kansas State and Texas. He had three interceptions, all in the first four games, and returned the interceptions for 46 yards. Smith finished with 38 total tackles, including 17 solo stops and had three games with at least five tackles. Smith had his first career interception against Western Kentucky and returned it 29 yards. The next week against Idaho, he made his first start and snagged another interception before adding an interception against South Dakota State. Smith had a career-high 11 tackles against Texas, with five against Idaho and six at Oklahoma State.

2009 (Redshirt Freshman)
One of the Huskers' best special teams players, Smith played in all 14 games and totaled 15 tackles, including eight solo stops. Smith ranked among the team leaders with 10 tackles on coverage units, including seven solo stops. Smith finished the year strong with at least one stop in each of the final six games. Included in that stretch was a four-tackle effort against Oklahoma. He had two tackles each against Arkansas State and Missouri. He had a pass breakup against Arizona, helping secure an NU shutout.

2008 (Redshirt)
Smith redshirted the 2008 season.

Before Nebraska (John Curtis HS)
Smith joined the Husker program from Louisiana prep powerhouse John Curtis High School in River Ridge. Smith was a four-year starter for Coach J.T. Curtis and helped the school to Class 2A state titles each of his final three seasons of high school.

Smith earned first-team all-state honors in 2007 and was a member of the Baton Rouge Advocate's Louisiana "Super Dozen". Smith made 85 tackles, added four interceptions and forced a pair of fumbles for a 12-2 state championship team in 2007. Smith also saw action at receiver and caught a pair of touchdown passes.

Smith was a two-way standout during his junior season. On defense, Smith made 28 tackles, had three interceptions and broke up 14 passes. Offensively, his 10 receptions covered 124 yards, including three touchdown catches. Smith was regarded as one of the top 15 players in Louisiana by Rivals.com and among the top 50 safeties in the country.

He was also a four-year starter in basketball and led his team in scoring and rebounding. Smith chose Nebraska after also visiting Arkansas, Baylor and Southern Miss.

Kentrill (P.J.) Smith is the son of Richard and Darlisa Smith and was born on April 28, 1989. Smith has volunteered his time as an FCA Outreach speaker, with the Special Olympics, Husker Hotline, and as part of the Madonna Wheelchair Football Workshop.

Smith's Career Statistics


























14/0 8 15  0-0  0-0  0-0 
2010 14/3 17 21 38 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 3 0
2011 11/1 21 12 33 0-0 0-0 1-0 0 0 1 0














53/18  86   79  165 8-12 1.5-4 1-0 0 5

Single-Game Highs
» Tackles-
12 at Michigan State (2012)
» Solo Tackles-8 at UCLA (2012)
» Tackles for Loss-2 three times (Arkansas State, Wisconsin, Michigan State in 2012)
» Sacks-1.0 vs. Arkansas State (2012)
» Pass Breakups-2 vs. Wisconsin (2012)
» Interceptions-1 six times (most recently vs. Michigan, 2012)

View Full Bio
P.J. Smith Press Conference - 11/17/12
P.J. Smith - 11/5/12
P.J. Smith Press Conference - 10/29/12