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2022 NFL Prospect Interview: Joshua Smiley, DE, Framingham State

Joshua Smiley is a monster edge rusher for Framingham State University that takes care of business on the field. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Joshua Smiley
  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 250 lbs
  • Position: DE
  • College: Framingham State University
  • Instagram: joshuasmiley6

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
My major is Communications. Outside of football, I have also volunteered in our community at local hospitals and schools. I’ve also helped with our Brother to Brother program at FSU, which is a mentor program for minority youth.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates would mention my passion. I’m always locked in and ready to take care of business on the field.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m one of the team captains at FSU. I’m on the field as much as possible, and do my job to the fullest extent, being 100% locked in. I mainly play DE although I will be asked to play DT on certain plays. I have dropped back into coverage in the flat.  I’ll do whatever the coach asks me to do without hesitation. I’m willing to do the dirty work. I’m very much the tone setter on the field that brings the best out of others. I’m also a very coachable player that’s willing to learn.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
One of the best players that I’ve had to face was Amir Young who was a OT for Worcester State. He was a solid OL with good hands and feet. He knew his assignments and took care of his job on the field.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Joshua Onujiogu is the other starting edge rusher. We have a healthy competition on the field as to who is going to make the big play. He’s very fast and explosive. He’s violent with his hands and can beat you on the inside and outside.

Another player that I have to mention is Shaq Joseph who’s a young WR on our team. He has natural speed and is easily the fastest player on the field. The sky’s the limit for him.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Coming out of high school, I was first at UMass although I never played there. I had to work to get my grades up and wasn’t able to get eligible. After not getting my grades right, my scholarship was then pulled and I was kicked out. I was depressed and in a bad place. I had lost a lot of weight and no longer looked like the football player that I once was. There were friends and family that thought that I might be going down the wrong path, and it hurt that some people thought I was a quitter.

So, I decided to put my best foot forward and get back to playing football. I knew that with my size that several programs should be interested in me. I applied to 9 different JUCOs and no one got back to me. By chance, I had met up with a friend that was playing for FSU at the time, and he put me in contact with the recruiting coordinator. Right after I had been in contact with him, I was quickly offered the opportunity to come play. I was excited to play for FSU because they took me when no one else wanted me.

I began to move forward in my classes and started to put my priorities in order. I began to grow up and be on my own, working jobs and training for football. I’ve since had a great time playing here and am grateful for the moments spent with my teammates.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I would probably play basketball like my father. I played all throughout high school and in AAU tournaments. I actually had several D1 and D2 offers to play basketball. I was very active and played almost any sport you can name. I played lacrosse, baseball and volleyball. Our volleyball team actually won a state championship.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud that I’m a reliable person that can help out others. My greatest achievement will be when I graduate from college. I only have about 5 classes remaining and should finish up this fall.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
One of the plays that I’ll always remember was a play against Western Connecticut. I had a hit on the QB as he was throwing the ball, and DeSean Hart was able to come down with the interception. He ran the ball all the way down the field for 78 yards finally getting tackled at about the 10 yard line. He got up and saw the flag on the field. I remember him saying “Come on, Eli” who had been called for holding. It was a very emotional play, but we still laugh today about how he said it.

My best moment happened in one of our games against Brockport. They were near the goal line and kept trying to run the ball in. On 4th and goal, they tried a dive play, and I was able to come down the line and hit the RB. I jarred the ball loose and came down on top of it. We got the turnover and my teammates were so pumped.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete of all-time is Sean Taylor. That’s why I wear #21. I love how he played with reckless abandonment and dominated the game. Both he and Lawrence Taylor are my favorites. Richard Seymour was a player that I looked up to as a kid. I loved his charisma and how he carried himself on the field. He took care of business as a football player

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artist is probably Polo G. Before games, I usually listen to lighter stuff. I like listening to older music like the Temptations’ “Papa was a Rolling Stone.”

What is your favorite comfort food?
My comfort food has to be the Spanish Rice from my mom, Zenaida Smiley.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite actor has to be Morgan Freeman. A movie that I really like is the Dark Knight. A TV show that I like to watch is an anime called Afro Samurai.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I don’t have too much spare time. I’ll often help my grandmother and an elderly couple in my area. I volunteer in a soup kitchen several times throughout the year. I’ll also give blood regularly. One of the things that I like to do is go skydiving. I’ve been about 6 times now.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play football because I truly enjoy it. Life makes the most sense when I’m playing it. It’s like human poetry. There’s a human chess match on the field, and it’s fun to be part of it.

My motivation comes from wanting to make it to the NFL. I’m willing to put in the grind to do what I need to do. I’d like to save money and help my family. Maybe one day, I’ll start a business and build something that’s generational.

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