Ask any current and former NFL player and they will tell you that they had to overcome some type of adversity during their career. They will also tell you they’ve matured and have moved on since then. Rarely, however, do some actually live up to their word. For Damond Smith, he’s not only living up to it, but he’s setting the example for players to follow.
Smith grew up with five siblings, two older and younger brothers and one sister, in Ecourse, Michigan. At the age of seven, Smith first laced up his cleats and strapped on his helmet in the travel leagues of Michigan. He played in that league up until high school.
Being one of the bigger kids and the harder hitters, Smith always played linebacker and running back growing up. It wasn’t until he got to Cass Tech High School where he switched to corner and played with some of the best corners to come out of the state of Michigan.
“Cass Tech sent corners to D-1 schools every years. It was great because I got to learn under the best,” said Smith.
Cass Tech sent players to Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, and a number of other top Division-1 football programs. For Smith, he was ready to add his name to the list of quality corners to come out of Cass Tech.
Following his junior year, Smith’s family moved and with that so did where he went to high school. For his senior year, he attended and started at cornerback for Inkster High School. In the state semi-finals, Smith led the team with three interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns. Unfortunately, they fell in the state finals to East Grand Rapids.
Coming out of high school, Smith was the 189th ranked cornerback on Scout.com. In Michigan, he was the top ranked corner and 32nd ranked overall player in the state. Smith was also a member of the Detroit News Blue Chip List in 2009. Following high school, Smith had all the top mid-west schools after him.
“Michigan, Western Michigan, all the MAC school, Utah, and few other Big 10 schools were after me. I took official visits to UMass and Western Michigan,” said Smith.
For Smith, the move to become a Western Michigan Bronco was fairly simple. It was close to home and he could play right away. He signed his letter of intent and in the fall of 2009 he was on the campus of Western Michigan.
Right away, Smith got playing time and appeared in all 11 of WMU’s games. One of his most memorable career moments came in his first ever game in front of 110,000 in the Big House on the campus of the University of Michigan.
“That opened my eyes to college football. The atmosphere was amazing and I was lining up against guys that I used to watch on TV. It was surreal,” said Smith. He finished with four tackles in his first career game against the Wolverines.
read the resthttp://www.beyondsportsn...g-road-back-damond-smith