Valdosta Daily Times

February 4, 2014

Smith returns as guest speaker at Viking Touchdown Club banquet

Jamie Wachter
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — With a BCS national championship in hand and already working toward the upcoming NFL draft, Telvin Smith didn’t hesitate when given an opportunity to be back home,  even for just one night.

With Lowndes holding its annual Viking Touchdown Club awards ceremony Monday, Lowndes coach Randy McPherson asked his former star pupil to return as a special guest speaker.

“I had to show love to my high school coach, coach Mac,” Smith said. “It means everything. This is where it started.

“I was just sitting in those seats where those guys were sitting in. It brought back a lot of memories. Just to know that you can make it. There is a chance out there. When they say that one of you, it could be just one of you. You have to seize every opportunity you get and that’s exactly what happened with my situation.”

Smith definitely is that one. The former Vikings star helped Florida State win its third national championship last month as he racked up a team-best 90 tackles with 9.5 for loss to go along with two sacks, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions from his linebacker position. He returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns.

Still, the biggest thing to Smith, who had 124 tackles entering his senior season, was that FSU finally returned to the top of the college football landscape.

“It’s great, just the fact that you are going down in history,” he said. “Everything we brought back to Florida State, the school as a university, it’s tremendous to be a part of that.

“To be a part of that, and to know that you were a big part in that, it’s great. And to know where it all started from, it’s tremendous.”

Now the 6-foot-3, 218-pounder is working on impressing scouts from the National Football League. That began last month at the Senior Bowl where the quick, undersized Smith answered some questions about whether his future remains at linebacker.

“I feel like I solidified that linebacker spot and let people know where I’m going to play and what I’m going to be,” Smith said. “Just to continue to showcase my talents, running sideline to sideline and playing football, it was great.”

But there is still work to be done prior to the May 8 start of the three-day NFL draft. So Smith is busy training in Miami for the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, which is Feb. 22-25.

“It’s going good,” Smith added. “It’s a job now and you have to treat it like that. It’s nothing too serious, it’s work. And we’re working.

“It’s a part of the business, and part of the process. I’m just trying to make sure I get everything I can to go in and put up great numbers and go from there. Then hopefully all my film and all the numbers I put up, it’ll work out.”