Name: Mike Smith
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
My goal was to lead the team into battle for everything we did, no matter how good or bad things were going at any given time. I also wanted to be able to help my team in any way necessary, and show the underclassmen how important the smallest details really are.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
A leader. I believe that when I speak, people will listen, even if it’s not something they would want to hear.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
Typically, I’ll see if there are any obvious tendencies that an offense will have, based on down and distance or personnel. I’ll also look to see if there are any keys that players have that can give away if it’s a run or pass play. Aside from that, I’ll look at the offensive lineman and tight ends that I’ll be up against for most of the game, to see what their strengths and weaknesses are in the run game. In the pass game, I like to look and see how different lineman are pass setting, and seeing what I can do in order to put some pressure on the quarterback. A lot of times, I’ll look at what other defensive lineman that had success against an upcoming opponent did, and see if I can fit those things into my game.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
I would say heart and willingness to compete. I may not be your “prototypical” defensive end, but that doesn’t mean I play like an undersized guy. Like I had said earlier, I am willing to change to any position on the field in order to have a chance to give a team success.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
As far as offseason goes, my plan is to continue to develop my overall strength and agility. I also am trying to improve my weaknesses and keep developing my strengths both as a player and leader. Along with this, I realize that based on my size and measurables, I might have a better chance to play fullback at the next level. So, I will train with a focus on blocking techniques and catching, as well as continuing to work on defensive line mechanics as well.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I’m a leader that will do absolutely anything it takes in order for my team to be successful.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?
That football is still football, no matter what level of school you come from. It’s all still the same game. Even though I may not be the size or speed someone is looking for, that’s not going to make me throw in the towel. I may be an undersized lineman from a small school, but that doesn’t mean I play like it. I may not be the fastest guy on the field, but that doesn’t stop me from running sideline to sideline. I’m a person that will do his job to the fullest, each and every time an opportunity is given, no matter how big or how small the opportunity, and will do anything in my power in order to make a team successful.