Smith gears up for Raven training camp

After a strong career as a Cyclone, Tyson Smith makes his way to Baltimore for the Ravens training camp.

Tyson Smith's time has finally arrived. The former Iowa State linebacker arrived in Baltimore on Wednesday to begin his NFL career with the Ravens.


Smith signed a free agent contract with the Ravens shortly after the NFL draft in April; since that time Smith has had a bit of down time in between camps.


"I went on vacation and then I worked a football camp out in Las Vegas," Smith said. "Other than that I've been working out in Ames."


Smith has been trying to work out the kinks in his game this summer.


"I just have been working on my weaknesses," he said. "I need to work on strength and quickness and quick movements."


For the first three years of Smith's ISU career he played defensive end and entered the Cyclones 2003 campaign as a pre-season Street and Smith's honorable mention all-American. Soon his NFL dream would be put on hold; Smith broke his leg in the season opener against Northern Iowa.


The 6-foot-2, 240 pound Smith sat out the rest of the season with a medical redshirt and returned to the field in 2004. Before spring drills he switched from defensive end to linebacker.


In his senior campaign Smith racked up 51 tackles, including a team-high 12 for a loss of 61 yards. He also led the squad in sacks (5.5).


Smith said he'll probably play linebacker, but at times the Ravens had him line up as a defensive end in mini-camp.


Since his childhood dream has been realized, Smith said he hasn't made any big purchases yet and right now he's looking for an apartment in Baltimore.


It has been a bit different for Smith to see players he grew up admiring.


"It's crazy when you see all the stars and stuff, but other than that I can't in a culture shock because I have to secure my spot with the team," he said. "It's crazy seeing Ray Lewis and Deion Sanders in the same room as you, but I have a job to do and my job is on the line so I'm not really worried about that."


Smith wasn't the only Cyclone drafted this past April, joining him in the league will be Ellis Hobbs. The New England Patriots drafted Hobbs with the 84th pick overall; he recently agreed to terms with the Super Bowl Champions.


The two had a chance to catch up with each other over the summer.


"We were in Vegas together and I talked to him before mini-camp," Smith said. "Then he came back to Ames and we worked out together."


Smith said he expects both of them to stay in touch with each other throughout their rookie campaigns.


With success comes recognition and since the draft Smith has raised a few more eyebrows around Des Moines and Ames.


"I've always been pretty well known in Iowa since I'm from here," he said. "I get a few more people coming up to me and asking me how I'm doing and asking questions about Ray Lewis."

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