MOBILE, Ala. - It was almost as if Courtney Smith knew there were eyes in the sky watching him.
No, not the crowd of 14,000-plus in attendance, but a much more discriminating set of eyeballs.
"I mean, I heard there might be some scouts there, but I didn't know if they were or weren't there," said a winded Smith after South Alabama's 31-14 season-ending win over Arkansas Monticello … a win that ended USA's season at a perfect 10-0 and leaves them still undefeated (17-0) after just two years of football.
"I wasn't worried about getting the ball. I was thinking about when the clock expired, there would be no more South Alabama football for me," said Smith.
There may indeed be no more football at South Alabama for the 6-4, 230-pound Smith, but he'd put on enough of a show Thursday night for National Football League and Canadian Football League scouts watching high above in the press box that there could potentially be a lot more football for him on Sundays soon.
"We came to get a look at the guy we'd heard about," said one scout from a team in the tough AFC South Division.
"I've seen enough," he said, after one half. "I'm outta here.
"If somebody's willing to bring that kid to camp and work with him he's a gem."
The senior from New Orleans stood the tallest on USA's Senior Night, setting USA game records with 10 catches for 141 yards in a virtually unstoppable performance.
He had eight catches alone in the first half that was the reason one scout packed up and left.
"He's a bad ass," said the scout of Smith on his way to the Ladd Peebles Stadium elevator.
The next question is did Smith do enough to warrant an invite to the Senior Bowl so he can strut his stuff in front of a multitude of professional scouts?
"We'll see," said Smith.
Jaguars Head Coach Joey Jones said there was no plan to showcase Smith, it just worked out that way.
"Courtney has been the face of our program in some ways. He came in and has done a tremendous job," said Jones.
"It's great that he can go out on a note like that. But most of all, I'm just proud of Courtney and the type of person he's become.
"He has become a leader. He was voted one of our captains this morning by the team. I'm real proud of him for the character he's shown."
Jones said a lot of Smith's success in the game was dictated by what senior-laden Arkansas Monticello (4-7) gave the Jags.
"Some of the things they ran defensively gave us some opportunities to get him (Smith) the ball. It just worked out that way tonight."
Jones noted a lot of USA's wide receiver's routes were reads between them and the quarterback.
Triggerman C.J. Bennett agreed.
"He had a big game for us, and it was good to send him off the right way," said freshman quarterback Bennett, who finished16-of-29 passing for 222 yards, including a pair of TDs.
Meanwhile, freshman running back Kendall Houston recorded his fifth 100-yard game of the year with 104 yards on 16 carries, and senior linebacker Justin Dunn posted seven tackles including a sack for the defense.
But make no mistake, this night belonged to Smith.
"It feels good," he said, in an unusually emotional tone for the usually cool Smith.
"Once the game started we (the offense) were having setbacks, but we (the seniors) had made a vow that once we leave, there'll be a foundation to keep going."
Who knows, after his performance in USA's final game of 2010, Smith may very well keep going himself … all the way to Sunday afternoon's.