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Q&A with DE Chris Smith

Q&A with DE Chris Smith

In the weeks leading up to the 2010 football season, Arkansas coaches couldn’t hide their enthusiasm for freshman defensive end Chris Smith. The Razorback rookie figures into defensive plans for the this season, as well as future campaigns to come.
    Smith helped West Rowan HS in North Carolina to back-to-back state championships and a 30-game winning streak. He was twice honored as an Associated Press All-State pick. In his final two seasons of high school football, Smith amassed more than 200 tackles and 48 sacks. He was ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the state of North Carolina by He was coached in high school by Scott Young
    Born in Myrtle Beach, S.C., he is the son of William and Sherry Smith.

Q: Being only a freshman, how excited were you to be able to put that Razorback uniform on and run through the “A” before a home game?
A: I was so excited. I’d been used to big high school playoff games with only like 4,000 people. To go from those high school games to almost 80,000 fans; it’s just crazy. It’s a great atmosphere.

Q: You talk about your high school days back in North Carolina and that’s a long way from home. How did you come to choose Arkansas?
A: This is the SEC. That’s what I tell everybody. This feels like home. I live about 20 minutes outside of Charlotte, N.C. Fayetteville is not quite like Charlotte, but it’s more like the Concord area with a lot of trees and wooded area. When I came with my parents on my official visit, we told each other that this looks a lot like home. The team also welcomed me right in. They’re like my brothers and we’re just one big family.

Q: Would you say that is your favorite aspect of the team? The way everybody acts like a family?
A: Definitely; with my teammates and the coaches, especially Coach Caldwell. He has that “good ole’ coach” inside of him when he’s staying hard on players. He reminds me of my defensive line coach from high school. It just all fit together for me and it feels like home.

Q: Do you have any superstitions or pre-game rituals before a game?
A: Basically, I just try to go out there and get sacks. Jake Bequette has been teaching me a lot. I’m just trying to go out there and have fun.

Q: You mentioned your teammate Jake Bequette; what’s it like to play next to and learn from upperclassmen like Jake or Damario Ambrose?

A: It’s great. They all work hard and I just try to come out and work hard with them. They’ve shown me a lot. I’ve been getting to play with them a lot. When I see them go out and play hard, it makes me want to go out and play hard. They’re leaders and I just follow right in with them.

Q: What advice would you give to kids who dream of becoming a Razorback some day and stepping on that field as a player?
A: I was always told as a kid that “you couldn’t do this or you couldn’t do that,” but it’s all up to you and what’s inside of you. In fact, from my part of town, I was the only guy to go to the SEC, so if you just keep your mind to it, you can do anything. That’s what I always say. You just keep God first and work hard; you can do anything.

Q: What do you want fans to know about Chris Smith? Your impact won’t just be this season, but more by looking into the future of your Arkansas career?
A: I want to be remembered not as a good player or a great player, but also as a player with great character. Ability and talent is what gets you to the top, but character is what keeps you there.

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