Freshman cornerback Rashard Smith from Dublin (Ga.) High has generated some buzz through the early portions of preseason practice. He returned an interception for a touchdown in the first team scrimmage, held Sunday night. Here is a video interview with Smith conducted Monday at NC State's media day.
You can view the interview by clicking play on the module on right or clicking the link below. A transcript is also provided.
Did you play much cornerback in high school or were you mainly a safety?
In high school, I probably played cornerback, out of four years, for three snaps. I always played quarterback and free safety. Making the transition from safety to corner was not a big difference. My brother taught me well, he played cornerback, and I learned from Coach Reed, who is a good defensive backs coach.
In this scheme, is a lot of it just being able to make plays on the ball?
In our defensive scheme, you've got to be able to line up right. If you can line up right, that can help you out a lot, that will put you in position to make a play but you've got to be able to read your keys and make plays.
Talk about the interception return for a touchdown.
Coach always says that when the ball is in the air, play it like the ball is yours, like you're on offense. You've got to always make a play on the ball.
What kind of play was it, who was the receiver, who was the quarterback?
I think the receiver was Steve [Howard] and Mike [Glennon] was playing quarterback. It was a deep ball.
What was it like while it was developing?
It felt good being able to score a touchdown while on defense in my first scrimmage of college but I also made some mistakes that I need to learn from and Coach Reed corrected me on the mistakes.
Tell me one mistake?
Being able to fight through being tired and making sure my technique is correct on every play.
How does your basketball background help you?
It helps me move laterally by playing defense in basketball. It helped me with my quickness. I grew up playing both sports and I love both of them.
What is going to be the biggest adjustment coming from high school?
It will be being able to be more physical. When I got here, I knew that I would be the smallest player here. I'm working hard to be one of the best players and my coaches are pushing me hard to make sure that I leave as a good athlete and be the best that I can be. Coming out of high school, it's a different transition, the game speed is different from high school to college.