Smith can't wait to hit someone on Thursday

Coming out of South Sumter High School, Kendall Smith was a four-star linebacker ranked third in the nation according to He has been working hard since he arrived on campus and is doing everything he can to make an instant impact. NoleDigest caught up with him exclusively to talk about his transition from 2A high school football to big time Division 1 football.

It's no secret to anyone that high school football and division 1 college football are two different worlds. For Kendall Smith, everything has been going pretty smooth since his arrival. He is just getting to know use to the life of college football. "Things have been going good. I'm just still learning. I'm still a freshman, you know? I'm just taking it day by day and just listening to my position coach, Coach Amato."

In high school, the game tends to be a lot more laid back for most athletes, even the big name one. Smith admits that being here at Florida State is a lot different as far as how serious and demanding the program is. "In high school, I took football serious, but you know it was just an everyday thing, you? Up here, I take it more serious. I feel like I'm more part of a team now. Back home, it was kind of like an individual thing. Now, it's like this is my new family. I guess I can say that I really do like it up here now."

One of the toughest things for freshman athletes is to go from 2 hours a day of practice to regular routines or film, practice, meetings with coaches, hitting the weight room and so on. Smith was no exception to the rule when he first arrived at FSU. "At first, it was kind of hard, trying to go every day with something new. But now I think I'm used to the whole system; the practice, working out, the running and especially school."

One of the biggest questions everyone has about such a highly recruited freshman is if he will make an instant impact or not. Smith is working hard and listening to his coaches doing all he can to get on the field and contribute any way possible. "Right now, I'm starting on special teams. Until Coach Amato trust me to get in there at middle (Mike) linebacker, I'm gonna just keep blocking and going down there and making tackles and doing my thing on special teams.

Although Smith was not part of the Florida State team officially last year when Wake Forest came in and beat Florida State at Doak, he took the game personally and is looking to make a difference this year. "This game right here is personal. We owe them big time. We're gonna go up there and play, I think, one of the best games we play this year. I wasn't at the game last year, but I watched on T.V. I was committed at the time, and I was embarrassed my self. I felt like I was a part of the team already. I'm gonna go out there with emotion and be enthusiastic, do my best and knock the hell out of somebody."

Smith will be one of few true freshman seeing the field Thursday night when The ‘Noles' take on the defending ACC Champions. Special teams have played a large role in Florida State's success this season and Smith will be looking to make sure they don't let up. FSU currently sits at 4th in the Coastal division of the ACC and has a chance to jump to 2nd with a win in Winston Salem. The game will kick-off at 7:46 EST on ESPN.

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