Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Rashard Smith, WR, North Carolina State
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
In high school, I was had 24 Division 1 scholarships, 4 D-1AA scholarships, and 8 Division 1 basketball scholarships.
Where did you choose and why?
I chose to go to NC State. After the firing of Coach Bruce Pearl from the University of Tennessee, I decided to play football. The atmosphere, players, and the coaches made me feel like I was home. During the whole recruiting process, even with basketball, I felt that NC State showed the most interest and I am very happy with the decision I made.
What were your goals for your senior year?
My goals for my senior year was to have a winning record, reach a BCS bowl game, be on the all conference team, and be an All-American player.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
I have met with several scouts. They are saying that they like my playmaking ability and the amounts of energy that I play with. They love the versatile that I have being able to play Wide Receiver, Defensive Back, and be a Return Specialist. And have the ability to be able to be effective and productive at all three.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
What separates me from others at my position is Football IQ. I understand DB techniques and what coverages they want to play by alignment. As a DB, I understand splits and route combinations according to down and distances.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
When breaking down film, I look for the best player on the team. I break down what plays they like to call according to the down and distance. I look for how many their corners/safeties play man to man. I look at their technique in which they use when they are playing press and off coverage. I break down offenses by the plays they call on certain downs and how many times they call that play on that down.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
Toughest player I ever faced during my college career was CJ Spiller.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
As a wide receiver I will compare myself to a Wes Welker. Small, quick, and can make plays with the ball in my hands. Love playing across the middle and making an impact as a slot receiver. As a DB I will compare myself to a Brent Grimes. Playmaking ability and the ability to play either corner, nickel and safety.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
Biggest obstacle in my life I had to overcome was having knee surgery going to my sophomore season in college. God and my mother guided my through the whole process. I hit a rock bottom because I never had to sit out a game let alone a whole season. I did not know to respond to it at first, but the faith and blessings that God had for me and the strength my mother had, gave me the power to see it as minor setback for a major comeback.
What system fits your style of play the best?
I will play in any system honestly. I have played in a pro style and spread offense and was productive in both. I played in a zone and man scheme defense also and had an impact playing in both defense. So it does not matter what system, just need the opportunity to show I can play.
What is your biggest strength?
My biggest strength is playmaking ability and football IQ.
What is your biggest weakness?
My biggest weakness blocking. I have been a WR for only 2 years in my life and I have been working on my blocking each day. I have made it a priority to be the best blocker on the team and I work to be that. I would not say it is a weakness, just no the biggest strength at this moment.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
My name is Rashard Smith. I am from Dublin, GA. I played college football at NC State University. During my time there, I was a starter for 2 years at Corner and a starter for 2 years at Wide Receiver and was the offensive MVP this past season. I was our return specialist and changed many games as a playmaker. I was captain of my team during my junior and senior season. If by any chance you give me this fine opportunity in my life to walk through your facility and join this team, sir you will not regret the decision you made.
Who was your role model growing up?
Growing up, my role model was my dad. He has been the best father in the world. He has done everything in his will and power to make sure that when an opportunity as such as the NFL approaches, I will always be ready to perform. His dedication to my life is the reason I am here today.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
I am just a fan of football. So I watch every team and enjoy it. It is hard to watch because I watch games as if I am trying to breakdown film. My favorite players were Deion Sanders, Charles Woodson, and the late Sean Taylor. Deion swag and playmaking ability is the reason I was in love with his game. Charles Woodson athleticism to play offense and defense and be a Heisman trophy winner, NFL defensive player of the year and a Superbowl champion is the reason he is my favorite player. His performance in Michigan’s Rose Bowl win was just astounding. Sean Taylor love for the game and passion of the game was just something to watch. When he stepped in between those lines, he made sure that when you walked off, you knew who #21 was that played safety.
What was the most tragic moment in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
Most tragic event in my life was the day I lost my little brother. He was 15 years old. I was on the field warming up for my first game of my senior year in high school when I got the news. My teammates knew right then what was wrong with and they all dropped their heads. Seeing them cry and hang their heads is what helped me overcome it. I knew if my little brother was alive he would have been there watching and smiling. Since he was gone, he will forever watch and smile over me. He is the reason I wore #2 in college. Prayers go up every time I step on ANY field at the 2 yard line.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
If I could go to dinner with 3 people, it will be my mother, grandmother (deceased), and my little brother (deceased). These are the 3 most important people in my life and knowing that I will never get to eat with 2 of them ever again in my life is the reason I go as hard as I do because I never know when my time is done.
What would you buy with your first paycheck?
With my first paycheck, depending on the amount, I am going to get me a car. I have never owned my own vehicle. I have worked so hard to get where I am and I always told myself that I will not be asking anyone to borrow their car or ask for a ride because I will make it. I went through all of high and college with no car to call my own. It will not be nothing expensive or really fancy, I just want something that I can get in and go with no asking questions.