The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Cougar corner leaves Senior Bowl as National MVP, boosts NFL Draft stock

Chau Smith-Wade picks off two passes
WSU+defensive+back+Chau+Smith-Wade+runs+downfield+after+intercepting+a+pas+during+an+NCAA+football+game+against+Arizona+State%2C+Nov.+12.
HAILEE SPEIR
WSU defensive back Chau Smith-Wade runs downfield after intercepting a pas during an NCAA football game against Arizona State, Nov. 12.

After a season with no interceptions cut short by injuries, star WSU cornerback Chau Smith-Wade excelled in front of NFL Scouts at the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl picking off two passes and earning National team MVP.

WSU sent three players to Reese’s Senior Bowl Week in Mobile, Alabama, for the nation’s most prestigious collegiate all-star game, with two participating in the game itself including edge rusher Brennan Jackson and Smith-Wade.

The week of practice and game following is a great opportunity for players to work in front of pro scouts and improve their stock in hopes of reaching the next level. Smith-Wade took the opportunity in front of him and ran with it outperforming all his teammates.

Smith-Wade made his first eye-catching play in the fourth quarter intercepting American team quarterback Joe Milton III from Tennessee and getting up to return it 83 yards before being tackled just shy of the endzone. He reached 18.3 miles per hour on the return and ran 162 total yards from start to finish on the return.

The former Cougar lockdown corner would strike again in the final period recording another interception later on to seal a 16-7 National team win.

On a stage where it is key to show scouts what they have not yet seen, Smith-Wade not only recorded two interceptions, which he had zero of during the regular season, but he showed he could do it against the best of the best competition on the biggest stage for draft prospects.

The performance also earned him national recognition with CBS’s Josh Edwards naming Smith-Wade one of his Senior Bowl standouts.

The performance was large not only to get national eyes on Smith-Wade but to prove he could still lockdown receivers after suffering an injury holding him out of the Cougs final three games of the regular season.

Smith-Wade recorded three interceptions, 96 tackles and 16 passes defended in his last three seasons on the Palouse, and now can set his sights on increasing his professional stock at WSU’s upcoming Pro Day before waiting to potentially hear his name called at the 2024 NFL Draft April 25–27 in Detroit.

Smith-Wade will be among three Cougs who attended Reese’s Senior Bowl week hoping to hear his name called on draft day joining Jackson and safety Jaden Hicks, who opted out of the Senior Bowl after participating in the week of practice.

With all collegiate all-star games in the history books, Smith-Wade did nothing but all he could bringing national attention to himself and the Palouse in the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

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About the Contributors
LUKE WESTFALL, Evergreen sports co-editor
Luke Westfall is a junior in Broadcast News from Custer, WA. He is an avid fanatic of the many sports at many levels who spends all his available time indulging in them. Luke began working at the Evergreen in Spring 2022.
HAILEE SPEIR, Evergreen photo editor
Hailee Speir is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Hailee is a junior English education major from Spokane, Washington. Hailee started working for the Evergreen in fall 2021 as a photographer.