Patriots Draft: Q&A With Harrison Smith

Cal's Harrison Smith is a big, strong defensive back from Oakland who turned down other offers to stay home and has never regretted it. Go inside to learn more about the saxophone-playing safety who has been representing the Bay Area since he first strapped on pads.

How'd you get into football?
I started playing at 12, and that became my only sport. I started off as a defensive lineman, but pretty shortly after that I've been playing DB, and its been DB for my whole life.

Take us through the last couple years, how the seasons went, the highs and lows.
Well, 2004 didn't have too many lows, we were one of the top teams in the nation. The worst time was the loss in the bowl game to Texas Tech & but I had a fun season, made a lot of plays. This year, I made the transition to free safety, it was like starting all over a little but I had the benefit of experience and once I got the hang of it it was fun. We lost some games we probably should have won, but we closed on a good note in the bowl &. Ever since then, its been getting ready for the league.

Whos your favorite player?
(Former Oakland standout) Charles Woodson, the younger Charles Woodson. Were definitely different players, but I respect his swagger and his big-play ability. He has natural ability, and the work ethic behind it.

What do you think of Ty Law?
He's a great corner, even getting up in age as he is now. I think anybody that's a corner or DB has to respect his game.

Talk about your Pro Day. How do you feel it went?
I feel like it could have been better. But I was happy to get though it healthy, and got the opportunity to do some work for some teams that wanted to watch me in some DB drills, try to get to showcase my abilities, that was nice.

Have you had many pro visits?
Well, I went to Detroit a few weeks ago, had a physical, met the coaches. It was cool, kind of like a recruiting trip, got wined and dined a little bit, you get a chance to meet people I felt like I was in college again. But I understand that its a business, and that doesn't mean Ill wind up there. I met with the head coach, backs coach, defensive coordinator it was good.

You didnt get invited to the combine. How did that make you feel?
I felt good about the Pro Day, but as far as the combine, its always a sting when you don't get invited to something like that. But you have to use it as your motivation. It happens, I know a lot of guys who didn't go that put together a lot of good years & you just use it as motivation.

Where will you be for draft day?
I definitely wont be watching Ill be golfing or something. Ill have my phone on, but thats about it. Whatever the outcome, well figure out how it all went, Ill let people know, give my report. Its fun, its cool.

Be sure to check the archives for Part One of this interview along with interviews from other prospects the Patriots worked out or have shown interest in.

PI staff writer Jonathan Comey contributed to this report.

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