Smith said Thursday that he didn't know why running backs coach Billy Sexton decided to give him that honor. He said that he and fellow tailback Lorenzo Booker, who has started every game this season, will still rotate in the same manner that they have all year.
"I don't know the reasoning, he came to me and told me I was going to start this week," Smith said. "It wasn't nothing too big too me, I am just going out there first."
"It's overrated. It's all about what you are going out there and doing," Smith added, in reference to being named starter. "If you can go out there and produce that's the beneficial part about it."
Smith's rise to the top of the depth chart comes after nearly two seasons of some degree of frustration.
One of the nation's premier high school prospects coming out of Pahokee in 2005, he was seldom used his first season in Tallahassee.
"I learned to be patient last year," Smith said.
So what did his family think about the news that he would be the starter against Western Michigan?
"I told them but everybody was saying I should have been in there the whole way," Smith said, "but I just always keep that positive attitude just doing what I do best and go out there and just try to help the team win."
That optimistic outlook bodes well for Seminole fans who are anxious to see what the shifty speedster can do when he finally becomes the feature back next year.
In some ways, his lining up behind the quarterback to start the game Saturday could be looked upon as a glimpse in to the not-too-distant future.
"That's what it's going to be right there; a preview for next year," Smith said with a smile. "I've got two big backs behind me. We've got Russell Ball coming back (and) we've got Marcus Sims and Jamaal Edwards so we are going to be good."
Smith to make first career start Saturday
Nole Digest Top Stories
ACC Football Roundup: Week 5 Top StoriesAll you need to know about ACC teams leading into Week Five of the college football season.
ScoutYesterday at 8:21 AM
Updated Scout 300 Trend Meter For 2017The updated Scout 300 Trend Meter for the 2017 class takes a look at which schools are trending for each uncommitted member in the Scout 300.
Scout FootballMonday at 11:15 AM
No. 1 DT Trying to Chop Down Recruiting ListWith scholarship offers from coast-to-coast Scout five-star and No. 1 rated defensive tackle Marvin Wilson is trying to find that right combination for his final three official…
Scout FootballFriday at 9:27 AM