The Dallas Cowboys selected Texas Tech linebacker Will Smith with the 23rd pick (238 overall)in the seventh round Saturday.
Smith, who tallied 120 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown as a senior in 2013, admitted the wait was long, but savored the moment.
"I was just waiting around and fortunately, it finally happened. It's just a dream come true."
Thousands of players perform on the various fields of college teams, but Smith is one of 256 who will add the word "drafted" to their biographies and resumes. Only one other Texas Tech player, Jace Amaro, received a call notifying them of being drafted.
Many Texas Tech fans cheer the Dallas Cowboys on as their favorite team. Smith is no different and he had a feeling he would become a Cowboy himself.
"They were kind of recruiting me this whole time out of pro day, and it's always been my favorite team growing up."
It will be no easy task moving forward for Smith, but the Holiday Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player realizes the Cowboys may be his best opportunity to become a starter. Dallas ranked last in total yards given up in 2013. The only defensive category the Cowboys found the top 20 in were fumbles forced.
"I'm just going to do whatever they ask me to do. Anything I can do to help, I'm willing to do."
Being drafted late may boost the motivation for Smith, especially with the knowledge that one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history, former Texas Tech Red Raider and Dallas Cowboy, Zach Thomas was drafted late. As a fifth-round draft pick without the team now called the Cleveland Browns or the Houston Texans, Thomas proved to be a steal for the Miami Dolphins with seven Pro Bowl selections.
"All that does is add more fuel to the fire. Now I just got to go out there it and prove it."
Smith will enjoy the continuous support from the Texas Tech fans who also root for the Dallas Cowboys, but he did not neglect the Red Raider fans who may cheer for other NFL teams.
"Thanks for all the support these past few years. Just know I love all Red Raider fans and I will always be a Red Raider."