Rumors of players wanting out of Tallahassee began to spread like wildfires across the internet with the names of highly-touted youngsters Fred Rouse and Antone Smith being the two centerpieces.
Rouse's suspension for "violating team policy" and his absence from practice on Monday and Tuesday only added fuel to that fire. Smith, on the other hand, was the recipient of message board talk rejuvenation that started the moment he signed to play with the Seminoles. How long will it take for a player of his caliber to get fed up and want out after being stuck behind a roster full of talented tailbacks?
Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon and Rouse was back at practice and all smiles. Unfortunately the Tallahassee native has been advised to not speak with the media until after his suspension but it was clear to see where his heart still is as he gave out high-fives and joked with his teammates.
Smith, however, was able to address the transfer rumors and it actually caught him off guard.
"Transfer?" Smith said. "I don't know anything about a transfer. That's just a big, big miscommunication, man. I made a decision to come here and I am gonna stay here."
Despite his allegiance to the Tribe, the issue of wasting a redshirt will continue to be a question that goes hand and hand with the stout tailback. In fact, the Pahokee native finds waiting on the sidelines to be quite bothersome.
"It's very frustrating," he said. "Being able to sit on the bench the whole game, man, it's like you wanna fall asleep on the sidelines because I am not used to it. It's very, very frustrating."
While his frustrations could become a concern to fans, Smith says that he is staying focused and that veterans Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker have been instrumental to a college life that he calls "all good to me."
"I would say character," Smith said of what the dynamic duo has taught him the most. "I mean, I had character when I came up here but I am just getting wiser by being around those guys. It's just a lot of little, small things. I wouldn't say it's helping me beat the system but getting around the system a little better. I am picking up a lot of things from them that way."
With 14 attempts for 54 yards and one score, Smith has seen action in three of the Tribe's games this season and is the Seminoles third leading rusher. Despite not getting what could be considered a fitting number of carries, the 5-foot-8 speedster understands that he has plenty of time left in the Garnet and Gold.
"I was hungry when I stepped on campus so (not playing) doesn't make me much hungrier," Smith said. "It just makes me a tougher and better person – it builds my character. Everybody's gotta wait, gotta wait, gotta wait. You can't just jump in there and learn the system. All that's still going on so I am hoping next year will be my year."
Smith Transfer Rumor a Myth
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