The Washington Times - July 30, 2009, 10:53AM

As promised, there was a second tidbit of interest from my chat with Rhode Island coach Joe Trainer yesterday.

Rhode Island, you might recall, was the destination for former Maryland wide receiver Stephen Smalls when he transferred last summer.

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His first year wasn’t too memorable – two catches, 47 yards – and the Rams are deep at wideout (especially for a team coming off a 3-9 season).

But Smalls, who redshirted in 2006 and was on the Terps’ roster in 2007, could be in for a bump as a junior.

“He’s kind of been bit by the injury bug,” Trainer said. “He didn’t come into camp in great shape last year and that set him back. He’s a Pennsylvania kid an I was the head coach at Millersville University and he was a Lancaster kid so I knew a lot about him in high school.”

The familiarity could help, since Trainer took an interesting odyssey from Rhode Island defensive coordinator to Bowling Green assistant head coach to Rhode Island head coach in a span of a couple months last winter.

At the very least, Trainer believes Smalls’ career could finally take off this fall after the grayshirt/redshirt/transfer sequence earlier in his career.

“He had a good spring this past spring. Sometimes that first year when you transition as a transfer, you kind of feel your way around,” Trainer said. “I think that was the case with him, and we’re expecting him to have a really good year for us this year.”

Patrick Stevens