Chad Smith breaks down Pro Day, lack of playing time against LSU

by - Senior Writer -
Chad Smith had a good showing at Pro Day.
Chad Smith had a good showing at Pro Day.

CLEMSON – As a perfectionist, Chad Smith wanted better numbers for his Pro Day showing last Thursday, but he also knows that perfection isn’t possible.

The former Clemson linebacker worked out for 28 NFL teams at the Tigers’ Pro Day in the indoor practice facility, and one of his most impressive showings was in the vertical jump. Smith jumped an incredible 32.5 inches, higher than wide receiver Tee Higgins and the same as wide receiver Diondre Overton, two notable hoopsters.

“I would have loved to have gotten to 33 or 34, but I will take it. I will take it,” Smith said, “It wasn't bad. I felt pretty good. I wanted perfect but there is rarely a perfect pro day or perfect combine out there. But there are some things I can correct over the next few weeks and I am excited about the future.”

Now, he waits for the NFL to come calling and will spend his time in Clemson working out and staying sharp.

“Right here, just waiting for teams and private workouts and interviews,” Smith said. “During this period, you want to stay sharp physically and mentally. That is where we are at in this phase.”

Smith then took the time to talk about Isaiah Simmons.

“He's a freak athlete. A special player. He is going to have a very long career in the NFL,” Smith said. “He is going to be a great player, there is no doubt about that. We've been fortunate enough to have him here at Clemson, and he is a big reason why we were so successful on defense and as a program as a whole. I am excited that I have him as a friend and that I got the chance to play with him for four years.”

The interview also provided the media an opportunity to ask about Smith not starting and playing just three snaps in the title game loss to LSU.

“It was just a game-plan thing,” Smith said. “Wanted to have an extra DB out there. LSU had a great offense. As you saw, they were able to kind of attack what we were doing, and we weren’t able to stop them the way we wanted to. But that’s all in the past right now. I’m just looking forward to the future … Use it as a chip going forward.”

The consummate team player, Smith said that while he was disappointed in his playing time, he still wanted to do whatever it took for his teammates.

“Obviously a player like me, you want to be out there on the field, you want to be out there competing and helping your team,” he said. “But I’ve been a selfless player my entire career here at Clemson, and I’ve always wanted to do things for the best of the team. If that means me not playing as many snaps as I did, and then that will help us have the best chance to win, then I’ll do that.”

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