Argonauts.ca decided to pick on, er, invite Rodney Smith to join us for “Ten Things With.” A rookie receiver with the Argos, the 6’ 6” Miami, Florida native spent five years in the NFL after a solid NCAA career with Florida State.
You had choices as to which NCAA school you would attend. Why did you ultimately select Florida State?
“I chose Florida State because of the family atmosphere. A lot of the guys who were recruited there at the time, I was real close with throughout the recruiting process. Coach Jimbo (future Head Coach Fisher), Coach (WR Coach Lawrence) Dawsey, Coach (OC James) Coley, those guys really drew me to the university, and once Coach (Head Coach Bobby) Bowden came to my house and introduced himself to my family, my family fell in love with it. Everybody was just Florida State, Florida State…”
*Miami and Tennessee were the other serious contenders.
What was your favourite moment as a Seminole?
“I won a lot of Bowl games at Florida State, but we had this one particular game that I just felt was one of the most exciting games of my time at Florida State. It was my sophomore year playing against Clemson* when Dustin Hopkins kicked the game-winning field goal. I felt like that just let us know as a team that we had arrived.”
*It was a 2010 game at Florida State. Clemson tied it 13-13 in the final minute, before Hopkins kicked a 55-yard FG on the final play of the game for a 16-13 win.
Were you always the tallest kid in your class, or did you have a crazy growth spurt at some point?
“For the majority of my childhood I would probably be one of the taller guys. My first dunk was in, probably seventh grade.”
Is South Beach the spot, or is it overrated?
“South Beach is the spot, but South Beach isn’t Miami for real. That’s kinda like the vacation spot for everybody that goes down to Miami, but it’s definitely the spot.”
What’s your favourite junk food?
“That’s tough, I’m stuck on junk food a lot. (Thinks hard for more than a few seconds). Maybe some type of Skittles or something like that, or maybe apple pie.”
When did you know you had a legitimate chance to play pro football?
“I want to say tenth grade. I’ve played football when I was five years old, but I never thought about playing professional football, but maybe when I was in, like, the tenth grade, when I started getting way taller and faster than guys, and people started telling me I had a good chance, then I started believing it.”
On a game winning drive would you rather, a) Make a spectacular one-handed catch at midfield to get a first down and keep the drive alive? b) Catch the winning touchdown, even if it was an easy catch with you wide open in the end zone? Or, c) flatten a defensive back with a pancake block to allow the running back to run in behind you for the winning touchdown?
“Ooh, that’s tough. That’s tough! But being the competitor that I am, if it’s at the end of the game, I want to put it on me. Give me a chance to make a play to help the team win.”
The best TV series of all time is…?
“Martin. That’s the best TV series of all time, hands down. I’ve got every season, every episode on DVD. Everything about him is funny. From the way that he looks, his expressions, from him, Gina and Pam, Cole, Tommy, the whole show is just crazy.”
*Smith answered this so fast and with such authority, the question was barely finished before the word “Martin” came out of his mouth. The man is a true fan.
Who was your favourite football player growing up and why?
“Randy Moss. When you’re running around as a kid playing football, the only thing you want is to go long, so you want to “Moss” somebody, so that’s my favourite guy. (Did you watch his Hall of Fame speech?) Most definitely. I think it was great. I think that people looked at him in the wrong light for a lot of his career, trying to make it seem like he was selfish, but as a receiver, as a playmaker, he was somebody who wanted to help his team and make plays.”
Toughest question of them all. Which Argo DB gives you the most trouble during practice?
“I can’t give nobody that, you know what I’m sayin’ (laughs)? I ain’t giving that to nobody, (laughs) I don’t have trouble at all. We got great DBs though, I’m gonna give you that. We got great DBs here, and if I had to say who is the best group of DBs in this league, I going to go with the Argos DBs.”