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"I don't know where that came from," he said. "Right now, I'm just playing the game. I graduate this December, but I never said anything about leaving. I like football," he said.
CUTigers asked point-blank: Would it be correct to assume that you'll be back next year?
"Yes," Smith responded.
A Sociology major with a concentration in criminal justice, he would like to work with police in some capacity, hopefully before moving on to the U.S. Marshals Service.
But all of that can wait.
For now, Smith, a redshirt junior, is just focused on the upcoming season and his role in helping get the Tigers back to the ACC Championship Game.
"We're learning things, getting the young guys ready— just trying to bring everybody together so we have some depth and go do what we need to do this year," he said.
Like all of Clemson's starting five on the offensive line, Smith said the overall toughness of the unit has increased exponentially in the last few years.
And that change will only continue to be displayed this coming season.
"We're miles and miles past where we were last year at this time," he said. "We're working hard and getting things together.
No need to start over when an ACC Championship and trip to a BCS Bowl were within roaring distance. Because of that bitter loss to Georgia Tech in Tampa, there's plenty of motivation lingering around Clemson.
"Anytime you take a situation where you might have to bounce back, it sticks with you the whole time. We're working hard. That's definitely something that's driving us, big time," Smith said.
An injury to Mason Cloy in that game left Smith with an edge at the vacant left guard spot. One of the more versatile pieces along the line, he's fine playing on the inside at guard or outside at tackle.
He played both in 2009.
"I'm comfortable everywhere I just like to help the team, pretty much. If they want me at left tackle, I'll be there. If they want me at right guard or right tackle, I'll be there," Smith said.