Michael Smith of UConn is a compact 6’1 200 pound WR who truly didn’t get to show his best stuff in college. Over the course of his collegiate career, Michael was in a predominantly run-oriented offense at UConn as they rode running backs like Andre Dixon, Jordan Todman and Lyle McCombs to ease a passing game that has never been consistent. As a senior, Michael contributed 407 yards and a touchdown, and was invited to the Texas vs. Nation All Star game. Although he didn’t get a fair shake in college, Michael is capable of making a team and an impact. It was my pleasure to interview him for NFL Draft Zone.
Shaun DePasquale: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Michael. Can you tell me where you’re training for the NFL Draft?
Michael Smith: Hey thanks for interviewing me. I’m training at Plex in Houston, Texas.
SD: What do you feel are your strengths and things you may need to work on?
MS: My strength as a player is my ability to run very précise routes and catch the ball with my hands away from my body. What I need to work on, I believe I need to work on staying into the game even when the ball is not coming way and also being explosive all the time.
SD: How do you feel your time at UConn helped you prepare for the NFL?
MS: I believe UConn prepared me for the NFL because it was a very structured environment that was based on accountability for the players which is something that could be very beneficial for myself and teammates going through this process during our rookie years.
SD: What do you feel you bring to an NFL offense?
MS: I feel that I can be a great short to intermediate target and someone you can count on, on 3rd downs to keep the chains moving.
SD: Have you received any feedback from NFL scouts?
MS: I played in the Texas vs Nation game so I did receive some good feedback after meeting with scouts after day 1 and day 2 of practice.
SD: Which active NFL player would you compare your skillset to?
MS: My favorite receiver is Anquan Boldin, but I believe my skill set is comparable too a guy like Jabar Gaffney who doesn’t run a 4.3 or 4.4 but was still able to be very effective at the nfl level.
SD: What was the Texas vs. Nation All Star experience like for you?
MS: The Texas vs Nation game was a great experience playing with different guys from all over the country but the thing I liked most was being able to show a little bit of what I can do but do it in front of the representation of every nfl team was the biggest.
SD: What has been your greatest accomplishment, athletically or personally ?
MS: My greatest accomplishment was going to the Fiesta Bowl in 2010 when there was no one in America who gave us a chance to win the Big East.
SD: If you could have dinner with any 3 people, living or otherwise, who would they be and why?
MS: If I had to pick 3 I would definitely start with Barack Obama because he did something that has never been done becoming the first black president. I would also like to have dinner with Martin Luther King Jr because he paved the way for all black people in America. Then I would have too add my boy Lebron James just because he is my favorite athlete in all of sports.
SD: Who would you say is the best player you ever faced during your college career?
MS: Other than going against fellow NFL prospects Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz everyday I would have go with Casey Hayward.
SD: Give me the name of a teammate that doesn’t get nearly enough recognition.
MS: I would say it’s either Nick Williams or Adam Masters. They are both really good football players.
SD: What message would you like to send to NFL teams about Michael Smith?
MS: The message I would like to send is I know I belong at this level, and once I’m on the practice field in camp I will prove that I belong!
SD: Last question, what would be your first purchase with an NFL paycheck?
MS: With my first check I don’t know what I would buy, but it would be something for my mom because she has been the steady part of my life and always there for me through everything.
SD: Thank you so much for your time Michael. Good luck in your journey!
MS: Thank you!