Thursday, July 7, 2005
Updated: July 11, 9:31 AM ET
Getting to Know Mr. Smith
By Craig Haubert
Twenty-five years ago, offensive lineman Charles Smith decided to attend Georgia, a decision that paid off when the Bulldogs won the 1980 national championship. Today his son Toryan, one of the top linebacker prospects in the 2006 class, now faces the decision of where to play his college ball.
But surprisingly, Georgia is not on Toryan's early list of schools. While Charles helped mold Toryan into the player he is today, he has not pressured him to attend one school over the other.
"My father told me that in 1980 Georgia was the right choice for him, but today I need to go to the school that is the right choice for me," said the younger Smith.
Toryan has three of his five official visits already set up for the fall at Michigan, Oklahoma and Notre Dame.
"The winning tradition of these schools and the NFL-ready players they turn out are appealing to me," he said.
Regardless of where Toryan chooses to play his college ball, he feels the school will be getting a very physical player. Schools have spoken to him about both inside and outside linebacker, and it doesn't really matter to him where he plays. Having an opportunity to play right away, however, does matter.
"I will need to learn the mental part, but physically I feel I am ready to play right away," he said.
Before he heads off to college, Smith does have some unfinished business to attend to, namely helping lead Rome (Ga.) High School to a state championship.
"I welcome the pressure some are putting on my shoulders to get it done in 2005," he said.
See what ILB Toryan Smith had to say in his ESPN.com chat. Chat wrap
Scouts, Inc.: Who is your favorite NFL team?
Toryan Smith: Oakland Raiders.
Scouts, Inc.: Who is your favorite football player?
Smith: Ray Lewis -- he is the best linebacker. It's so hard to model everything after him, but I try to play hard like he does.
Scouts, Inc.: Do you have a pregame ritual?
Smith: Listening to rapper Pastor Troy.
Scouts, Inc.: What is it about playing your position that you love?
Smith: The contact.
Scouts, Inc.: What are your goals for your senior season?
Smith: Most importantly to win the 4A state title. We made it to the third round last year.
Scouts, Inc.: Favorite high school subject?
Smith: History. It's the most interesting.
Scouts, Inc.: Best NFL coach?
Smith: Dick Vermeil.
Scouts, Inc.: Favorite high school football movie: Varsity Blues, Remember the Titans or Friday Night Lights?
Smith: Remember the Titans.
Craig Haubert is a Recruiting Coordinator for Scouts, Inc.