During the offseason months, Ravens wide receiver
The former Maryland Terrapins trained together in July, just like their days back in College Park. Now the two speedy wide receivers will square off this Sunday when the Raiders travel to M&T Bank Stadium.
"That's my boy," Smith said this week. "We still communicate and hang out in the offseason."
"I talk to him often," Heyward-Bey added. "It's always fun seeing him."
Sunday's game will be the first time the former Terps have faced each other in the NFL, but they aren't putting too much stock in the matchup since they won't be on the field together at the same time.
"If he was a corner it would be different," Smith said. "It will still be cool to see each other on opposite sidelines."
Smith and Heyward-Bey have links that go beyond Maryland. Heyward-Bey is two years older than Smith, and when he entered the 2009 draft, Ravens fans were drooling at the prospect of bringing him to Baltimore after seeing his 4.3-second, 40-yard dash time. Fans were lobbying just as hard for Smith in 2011.
Heyward-Bey ended up going ninth overall to the Raiders, and the Ravens took Smith in the second round two years later. Smith is off to an impressive start to his career with the Ravens, while Heyward-Bey has been up and down during his four seasons with the Raiders.
Smith has 29 catches for 481 yards and five touchdowns this season, and Heyward-Bey has 19 catches for 289 yards and one touchdown.
"He's ballin," Heyward-Bey said about Smith. "He gets in the end zone, that's one thing he can do. He has explosive plays, big-play capability. I mean, he had that at Maryland. That's why when I was a junior and he was a redshirt freshman, he started on the other side of me, because he could make plays."
Smith also heaped praise on his college teammate, and thinks that the Raiders are on their way up.
"He's doing great things for his team and he worked his tail off for the season and I'm happy for him," Smith said. "They just haven't been consistent with their play, but the talent is there. When they get it all going in the right direction, which it seems like they're doing, then they're going to be one of the top teams in the league."