When the Mississippi State coaches first saw Smith, they immediately liked his style of play.
"The (MSU) coaches said they love my speed, my ability to play the outfield and my ability to play fast," said Smith, who batted .331 with 29 stolen bases in 31 attempts as a sophomore at Walters State CC. "That is what I pride myself my game on, playing hard, playing fast and hustling everywhere on the field, tracking down balls in the outfield, hitting, stealing bases and turning singles into doubles."
He's also learned that when you play for Mississippi State, one of the top programs in the nation, you work harder than you ever have before.
"What I've learned here is to work hard," said Smith. "You work hard in junior college but here you really have to own your craft. They also are teaching me to compete against SEC pitchers. They critique my swing."
So far, he has loved every minute of his Mississippi State experience, on and off the field.
"It is great here, perfect," said Smith. "My classes are fine. All the guys have been good. I've really enjoyed my time here."
Smith almost didn't wind up at Mississippi State. Being from Tennessee, he almost wound up at Vanderbilt. But Mississippi State made a call that changed that.
"Late in June I was being looked at by Vanderbilt and I thought I was going to wind up going there, but Mississippi State called and I came here on a visit and loved everything about it," said Smith, who was recruited by MSU assistant coach Nick MIngione. "I liked the coaches and they explained about the game atmosphere. And I couldn't pass up playing in front of about 15,000 fans at a game. It's just amazing, unbelievable. I just couldn't turn that down.
"I decided to come here and it was a great decision because I love it here."
Smith and the rest of the Diamond Dogs begin scrimmage play October 14th.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.