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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Ch’aim Smith, DE, West Chester University

Ch’aim Smith the amazing pass rusher from West Chester University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Ch’aim Smith 
  • Height: 6’4
  • Weight: 250
  • Position: Defensive End
  • College: West Chester University of Pennsylvania 
  • Twitter: Csmitty3117

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

•  I’m from York, PA, it’s a small town one of the oldest towns in the U.S, with many mom and pop stores. Which is what I love most about this town on any given corner you can run into some good authentic, real quality, old-school mentality people. Who are just tryna make it and when I say they put their foot into the platters they make, I have done a lot of traveling in my life so far but nothing compares to mama Nina’s Spanish dishes, Moe’s sweet potato pies, a good maple donut, Gran Sabor’s Latin Restaurant. You know we have the chain restaurants but I have always been a root for the underdog type of guy because I have always been the underdog; and that’s what your getting with mom and pop and that’s what I love about my city we support each other. 

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

• For me I list these three as 1a 1b and 1c, as they are all very vital to the final product of success that everyone gets to enjoy seeing on Saturdays. However, if I had to list them in order it would be practice, strength and conditioning and finally film study, the reason being practice is the greatest and most realistic feel you will get to an actual game setting. I see strength and conditioning as number two because football is a game of injuries, who can stay the healthiest the longest which it is vital that you put in the time in the offseason to strengthen your entire body and properly maintain it with dieting and functional train. This allows your body to be able to withstand the wear and tear of the season. Finally film study, this is the final step to making the wow plays that allow you to take over a game and will get you noticed. Studying film gives you the ability to see the mistakes you are making so you will be able to correct them. More importantly, watching film over and over and over again of your opponent is key. It gives you the ability to see certain tendencies of players, formation and plays of the offense that will give that extra step in the game. This potentially will make that game changing play that alters the dynamic of the game.

What do you worry about, and why?

• My biggest fear is being in a situation where I cannot help/protect/take care of the people I care for and love. For example, one of my biggest fears is if one of my family members were to get addicted to drugs I worry that he/she gets to a point were all he cares about is that next fix or that next sip of alcohol and begins to let everything else fall apart, then starts doing anything for money to get that high he is chasing. Even just hypothetically talking about it brings such hurt to my heart because no matter what I do personally I can’t help him out of the place he is in only he can and that’s the fear because I’m watching the pain and suffering he is dealing with and I would rather it’s me any day. Or even something like one of them going to jail terrifies me because while he/she is in there no matter what I can not help control the outcome of whatever happens to him/her. It’s the idea that I can’t help him/her through whatever pain or suffering they are dealing with because I would rather it be me having to handle whatever it may be rather then them and I will always be like that. 

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• In my life, I have failed at many things. It has taught me so much about myself and has helped develop me into the man I am today. However, one of my biggest failures was not being there for my teammates when they needed me the most. My freshman year of high school I was wrestling on the varsity team and we were going into a team duals tournament with implications for post-season weighing on the outcome of this tournament. However, I made the decision to do something idiotic; which caused my parents to punishment me by taking away what mattered most, wrestling. This situation stopped my team from qualifying for the post season. To this day, I have never gotten over this mistake and it has shaped me into the player I am today. I made a promise to myself that no matter what it is or how tiring it may be. I will never leave my teammates out to dry, I will always have their back and this is something I pride myself on. My teammates know that they always have someone to turn too even when they feel like they are alone.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My teammates speak very highly of my play on the field but more importantly of my character. They talk about my passion and love for the game as I am always one of the first players to come praise another player for making a great play. Others, praise me for my leadership on and off the field, trying to bring the best out of my teammates as a player and as a man. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

• CFLs Calgary Stampeders and former Chicago Bears OL Jordan Morgan, he was a complete player. He was strong, fast, great hand placement, etc. What makes him interesting is how nice of a guy he is. He would make a great block, and then follow up with how good of a job you did. 

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

• A career I would endeavor is architecture. I have always had a passion for drawing and the creativity that goes into designing buildings.

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

• Without a doubt, I clean my room first. Coming home to a clean room with your bed made, there is no better feeling. If I remember correctly, I have read a study or two explaining how people who make their bed and kept their room clean are more productive.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

• In this situation, I’d choose to save my family member. I could save those other people but in the end they are not going to have my back like my family would. In all reality, there are no ties to me and if it came down to low food, freezing temperatures, etc., those strangers may turn on me were my family members are going to have my back, just like I had his/hers. 

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• Thanos, “ I am inevitable” his mindset, his will, and his determination to complete the task he had set in motion was unbelievable, no one thing was going to get in his way from doing what he believes needs to happen. I mean come on, he beat the two most powerful superheroes known to man in the marvel series, the Hulk and Thor! 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• Breaking my leg in the first game of my junior season. Up to that point, I had never had a significant injury in my career, especially not one that would cause me to miss games let alone the whole year. But, I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. So for me to break my leg when I did, God had something to teach me and I can say I learned many life lessons on and off the field during that time. Such as, how to be a team player when you’re not specifically affecting the outcome of the game on the field. It also taught me how to become more of a student of the game because I had to adapt my game when I first came back, as I was not the same type of player. Off the field, breaking my leg taught me how to live a life without football, specifically how to still have a positive impact on the community which I did through spending my week nights helping troubled youth.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• Had to be my sophomore year of high school. My head coach told me to go get a hash for the game field. I was gone for 20 minutes running around looking for a hash mark. Till this day he still brings it up. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• It had to be when, one of my closest friends, Shaquille James, took an interception 92 yards to win our homecoming game!  This was on the same day that he had lost his father and was actually the last play his father got to see of him. The game itself was a back and forth battle, but the significance of the play will be a moment that I will forever hold in my heart. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• “Last Breath” Future. Through the song the rapper future talks about how no matter what people say, what’s going on around him, the adversity he is dealing with he is going to hustle till he dies. That’s how I look at life this is my legacy for my daughter and nothing is going to stop me from grinding because it’s not about me, it’s about the legacy the name I leave for my children.

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• EFFORT! No matter what I’m doing, effort will get me notice, effort will put me in a position to be where I want to be. At the end of the day, no one can take that away from me. 

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

•  Martin Luther King, he changed the World for all African-Americans. Just to get the chance to tap into his brain would be amazing. Along with giving him the chance to see what his efforts have done to this World to let him know what he worked so hard cake true.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

•  I would name it CABD the first initial of my siblings names as well as myself, A and B  for my brothers Asa and Brandt and D for my little sister Dacia. If I am opening a business, it would be centered around bringing financial freedom to my family as well as myself so it’s only right to name the club after my siblings. To be honest I would be shocked if they were not largely involved in helping open up the business and keeping it running smoothly. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

• Shaquil Barrett Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he’s been balling this year. If I’m correct he was and might still be leading the league in sacks this year. To think, he basically went unwanted in the NFL free agency this summer because of some other big names is comical. That just goes to show he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder and that’s how I play.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected, not everyone is going to like you for various reasons. However, they will have to respect what I am doing because I am making a groundbreaking impact in the World.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• My older cousin, Jamie, he was so physically gifted. He was one of the fastest individuals I have ever played with. Ran a legit 4.3 40 and had the size 6-6’1 185-190 at receiver. He could have easily competed and played at most power 5 schools. Unfortunately, he could not handle his business off the field. Going back to highschool with his grades, and once he got to college it became more than just school and he ran into problems with the law. This one weighs heavy on me because I gave his mom my word I would keep him out of trouble and was not able to.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I HATE losing more than I love winning. That’s a mentality that has been with me since pee wee ball and I honestly owe this mentality to my older brother, Asa Smith. When we were younger, he would always try to embarrass me in the game we were playing. Whether it was madden on the PlayStation or something as simple a kitchen trash can basketball. My parents refused to let me quit, forcing me to work harder and learn to be smarter. This helped me eventually beat him and the mentality carried over to football.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• My older brother, Asa Smith, he has been my biggest fan since day one. I truly would not be where I am today if it were not for him. I will forever be grateful for what he has done. I wear 47 because it was his number and he gave up his opportunity to play college football to help take care of my little sister and I. Asa has been the rock for our family for as far back as I can remember. When I made the decision back in middle school to play college football and professional football, he took upon himself to help me get there! He did all of my sport specific training year round, with nutritional advice along the way. Asa drove me across the states taking me to different camps, junior days, and Official Campus visit. Whatever it was, he was there. Honestly, I don’t think he missed a high school game! Between defensive series, it wasn’t the coaches I went to for adjustments, I looked up to the stands for my brother. We had our own hand signals that he could signal in and I would make those adjustments in game from what he was seeing. I love him so much and I really cannot imagine what my life would be like without him.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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