AJ Smith: 2018 Draft Prospect Interview
Name: AJ Smith
School: Henderson State University
Position: Tight End
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
Of course every college football players goals are to win a conference championship and go on to win a national championship. Yes, winning championship is an important goal of mine, but the ultimate goal was to enjoy my last season with teammates and leave the collegiate football field with no regrets or “what if’s”. I feel I accomplished those goal by going hard every play and leaving every ounce of effort and skill on the field.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
Physical, versatile, and passionate.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I am training with team APEC located in Fort Worth, Texas. Founder and President of APEC, Bobby Stroupe has trained many NFL players. Bobby and his team of trainers are getting me physically and mentally ready for anything that may be thrown at me during the 2018 National Combine.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
I mainly focus on opponent’s alignment tendencies. For example, what does the defense prefer to line up in if we are in 21 or 10 personnel. Also what downs does the defense like to blitz, man up, or sit in zone. Another aspect I focus on is posture. Defensive players tend to give up their coverage or assignment by body pasture before the snap.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
Versatility separates me from other players at my position. I was a starting Quarterback all four years of high school. Once I arrived at Henderson, I played Wide Receiver my freshman year to my sophomore year. At the start of my junior year, I began playing Slot Receiver. I didn’t play Tight End until my senior season. Within a spring semester, I was able to adjust and effectively play inside the box or “trenches” as some people like to call it.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I could say many things about hard work and dedication. Thats what everyone thinks they bring to the table. I will being the same attitude everyday and my attention to detail will stand out to the scouts and coaches of professional teams. Off the field, I was always taught to brand myself in a positive light. I will forever give back to the people who’ve supported me through this journey. I will stand out by being a positive public figure to my community.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
It’s simple. They’ll be getting a big school versatile Travis Kelce type athlete with a small school hunger.