Smith settled in at Ole Miss

Being prepared is important, and Isaiah Smith might lead all freshmen in that category.

The incoming freshman has been on campus since May and has become acclimated to Ole Miss in two ways. Not only has Smith gotten stronger in the weight room, but also the young linebacker is also at least a semester into his college career academically.

"I came in May, and I think I am prepared with the plays and got a jumpstart on school," Smith said. "I got 15 hours in. I am in tip-top shape. It is the best shape of my life. In high school, you don't have to be in top shape, but I think that I am now."

Smith says that his classes weren't easy, and that he has been impressed with the academic rigors. He is planning on majoring in exercise science before moving on to physical therapy school.

"Yes sir, especially academics. The professors are hard but good. They are pushing me. I thought high school was a breeze, but you have to study here. There is no comparison."

Even though his grades are important, the six-foot, 220 pounder is eager to get camp started. Smith is optimistic about the upcoming season.

"I'm excited to get back and get to work. I think we have a good team and some weapons on the offensive end. On defense, I know our linebackers are young, but with Tony (Fein) coming in and what is coming back and coming in, we are going to do well. The D-line, if healthy, will be one of the best in the SEC."

Smith is elated about the opportunity to play early and has past precedent to count on for motivation.

"My goal is to get some playing time. Especially with Coach O because he plays freshmen. He will play most of us if he can. I know at linebacker, there are no positions set so I think I have a shot at some playing time."

The Columbia Central (Tenn.) product recognized the limited linebacker depth during his recruiting process. Playing time played a big factor in his decision.

"Playing time definitely. Especially with the dismissal of the linebackers last year, that set me eyes on Ole Miss. It is proof. He plays all these freshmen."

Learning and shrinking the gap between himself and upperclassman is now the task for Smith. He has an idea of what to expect, but the rest will come as practice unfolds.

"We got the basic playbook, but not in-depth. That is what camp is for. We will see how hard that gets, but I have the basics down. I just need to read the plays faster and get accustomed to the speed of the game. You can't let up."

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